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My Soul Must Come First

  • Elliott
  • February 23, 2011
  • 11

Success is About Being Happy

My recent hiatus from writing and sharing Secrets to Peace has really taught me about myself and about life in general.  Part of the reason I stopped sharing my thoughts was because I felt I needed to focus my energies on finding ways to generate income.  With two kids away at college, expenses can easily exceed income, and that prospect tends to suggest that I need to make a larger contribution to our household.

The odd thing is, however, that if I am not being fed, by how I am spending my time to create revenue, I shut down my creative side completely.  At age 56 I seem to have reached a point where I can no longer compartmentalize my life. I do not seem able, or perhaps willing is more appropriate, to spend my energies doing something just for a paycheck. I must find enjoyment in the task itself or it feels unworthy of my time.

Not sharing my thoughts and observations has left me feeling as though I abandoned a part of my self. I love writing about my insights and awareness’s. It seems like play when I search for words to describe experiences and musings about things which are often beyond the capabilities I possess for articulation.

This morning I read this quote from Albert Schweitzer :  “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”  I wholeheartedly agree. What I do is not nearly as important to me as being in the experience of loving what I am doing?”

So, this understanding begs the question, “Can I learn to love the outcome of my labors, enough, to persevere, even if I am not enjoying the work I am choosing as the vehicle to reach the outcome? In other words, is it possible for me to be motivated to stay in a job, just for the pay, when the work I am doing offers no food for my soul? My history seems to indicate that I have never been capable or at least willing to make such a compromise.

Success is a subjective concept. To me, if I love what I am doing, I am successful. At the same time, it can be harder to love what you are doing if collectors are calling or the bank is working to evict you from your home. This is not happening at this point in my life, but I have been there and know from experience that it is hard to “stay the course” when the walls are tumbling around you. Success seems to have another aspect which includes some form of balance. If my premise is correct that success is about being happy, then this happiness needs to extend into all areas of my life: hence the balance.

Despite taking seven months away from writing, in part to explore avenues for increasing my income, I still have perfected no method for achieving that goal. What I have learned, however, is that I must find the time to do that which feeds my soul, first. My perpetual self-discovery has cemented that into my understanding.

My soul must come first. Life is way too short, for me, to follow any other path.

On one of my blogs I recently received two comments which really set me thinking. The writers said that it was only arrogance, my ego based need to feel good about myself, which prompted me to post my opinions on the internet for all to see. I am not really sure what the writer’s intentions were but their remarks really stimulated some introspection. In part, it was these comments that helped fuel my newest commitment to sharing my thoughts.

I do not think I write from a place of arrogance. I do not believe that I have knowledge which is unique and available only through my experience or my understanding. I write because I love to translate the joy I feel, when I am writing, into something I hope is worthy of sharing. Perhaps there is some ego involved in sharing what I write, but I love hearing how my experience is similar or different from yours. I love the dialogue that is often generated between your heart and mine, when I lay myself open by sharing my innermost thoughts.

How I will ever turn this passion into a revenue creator remains a mystery to me, but I have certainly gained new clarity about the importance of feeding my soul by honoring the gifts I have to share. For me, at least today, this aspect of my daily experience is non-negotiable.


  1. thanks elliott
    i have only just read ur msg
    dont worry 1 iota about what others say
    stay on ur unique path and live ur 1 and only life as u feel lead
    u dont have to prove any thing to anyone whatsoever.
    be assured blessings are coming ur way
    trust the process and give thanks
    after all ur not in lybia right now
    praying 4 u and ur family
    please remember me too for it is hard right now

    1. Thank you Sean. I will certainly include you in my heart and prayers. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. I appreciate you.

  2. Hi Elliot,
    Nice to have you back. We have a basic human need to be not only seen but also met. Unless you desire some preconceived outcome with your musing, there is simply human expression going on here. Besides you may not ever know who has been profoundly moved by some seemingly innocuous comment.

  3. Several things stood out to me from this post.

    1. Having gone through several months that I found personally trying related to my place in the world and making a living…I, too, know that I know that I don’t want to just fill in the blank in ANY area of my life. I believe my life is Divinely ordered and while what is happening might not always look like my surface mind thinks it should, I know I can trust the moment to teach and guide me to greater understanding. This trying time deepened my hunger and commitment to live the way I believe Spirit invites me to live. The past few weeks have abounded in renewed faith, courage, insights…connection – JOY. Without my recent wilderness time, I would not have opened up (once again) to the possibility that perhaps I don’t know all the answers. :-)

    2. I, too, write for the joy of writing and because I think it is important and helpful to share this journey. Sometimes I feel like, wow – who do you think you are Eve…but if I’m sharing from my own experience with a heart of love, I invariably get feedback that my efforts have touched or helped someone. I am responsible for the effort – the outcome is in God’s hands. If I feel moved to write and share – I’m going to write and share as Spirit leads me. I hope you continue to do the same.

    I have heard that JOY is the irrefutable evidence of the presence of God. I think we will have served humanity well if we spend our life pursuing our bliss and dwelling in joy as much as we possibly can. Joy is without a doubt a state of mind – an interior choice of thought…which as you noted can be hard to maintain when the road seems steep and the burdens heavy. The good news is that Higher Wisdom will never leave us in our confusion – time is really rather irrelevant. If we make the effort we cannot fail.

    I think you are a beautiful, shining light in a world that sometimes appears to have forgotten it’s holiness. This world needs all the light we can allow to pour through us so that the collective memory can be restored. Light dispels darkness. Thank you for all you do to shine God’s light in the world.

    1. This is beautiful Eve. I agree with everything you wrote.

      I appreciate you sharing your loving light on this site.

      I love and appreciate you.

  4. I believe that doing what you love to do is what life is about. Having worked for many years at something that gave me very little joy and eventually having it “break” my heart, I have found that I now love my new “work”. The thing is that my “work” is not a job, it is a passion. I feel that I am now living the life that I was intended to live.

    I am so happy that you decided to continue doing what brings you joy and that you love. Writing for you is what heals your soul.

    Thank you for all that you do to bring love to all that you know.

  5. Very happy to have found your site. Happier that you are continuing to share your heart too! You are setting a great example for many!!! It takes courage to share so openly and honestly. Thank you for doing so!

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