16 Mark Silver

I dare you to choose the easiest path forward.

If you are a caring, heart-centered person, then integrity is already one of your highest values. Integrity and contribution, wanting to make a difference for people.

I get it. You care. You want to be generous. You want to make an impact.

And you’re working really hard. And maybe it feels like you can’t get any momentum…

Stop, for just a second. Because I’m worried about you. Seriously.

I’m not worried about your willingness to work hard, or your willingness to deliver your best. I’m worried about you over-delivering. I’m worried about your attempt at perfectionism.

In Sufism there’s a saying attributed to the Divine, “Pride is My cloak and greatness is My robe, and whoever touches either of these shall feel the fire.”

Before you think I’m going all brimstone on you, I want you to take in the metaphor that is working here. Yes, I’m looking at you (and me) who has that perfectionist gleam in your eye.

Pride and Greatness are what come through when someone who is surrendered to spirit is moved to do the work of love in this world. True greatness is only ascribed to that kind of contribution. The ego may aspire to greatness, but it can never achieve lasting greatness. Only love can do that.

When we attempt to be perfectionist we are unconsciously (or consciously) attempting to create greatness. We are attempting to control too much.

If you’ve tried this path (and I know you have) you know how exhausting it is. You know how it grinds you down, and how any little miss can feel like it burns you and your belly.

Yup, burns. Fire. The metaphor. Not “hellfire,” just the pain a human experiences when they take on too much.

We are at our best in our humility, in service. It doesn’t mean we can’t shine. It doesn’t mean we can’t stand in our gifts, or express ourselves powerfully. It just means that we need to surrender in a very profound way how much we think we can own outcome, and how many details we think we can control. (Answers: not much and not many.

This is where the easiest path forward comes in.

In my desire to help people, I tend to overly-complicate things. I tend to want to give and give and give, until someone drowns. I’ve learned to curb this tendency in recent years, because it’s been so exhausting and ineffective.

As I said in the beginning, I know you won’t betray your integrity. I know you aren’t going to pass off some mediocre yuck on an unsuspecting shlemeil.

So, instead of being a perfectionist. Instead of striving to be the absolute best. Instead of striving for greatness, here’s what I suggest you do:

Strive instead for love. Strive instead for humility. And allow your heart to pick the easiest path forward consistent with love.

Are you ready? It’s going to be much easier than you thought…

Mark Silver
Sufi Master Teacher and Healer, founder Heart of Business, author of seven programs that make up an entrepreneurial wisdom academy, and M.Div. student.

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