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The Highest Goal

The Highest Goal

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Published by nikkiidaniels

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Published by: nikkiidaniels on Jun 11, 2012
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05/02/2014

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TM
Philosophers
Notes
More Wisdom in Less Time
Brian Johnson’s 
“The highest goal is simply to be in this experience of connection or truth (nomatter how you refer to it) all the time. That remains a goal, of course, because thisis something you spend a lifetime working toward rather than attaining. But yourcommitment motivates, inspires and guides your journey, and gives you more andmore time in this state of connection.”
~ Michael Ray from
The Highest Goal The Highest Goal.
Based on Michael Ray’s “Personal Creativity in Business” class he taught at Stanford, this book is awesome. And the concept of living with the “Highest Goal” to more and more consistently connect to and express the Divine within us is one of my absolute favorite Big Ideas.If it’s resonating with you, I think you’ll love the book and I’m excited to share some of my favorite Big Ideas.So, let’s jump in!
STEPS TO LIVING THE HIGHEST GOAL
“Once you commit to living with the highest goal, certain steps will help you on your way.These steps are the discoveries I’ve made in the Stanford creativity work. If you practice any of these steps, you’ll be ahead of the game. Do them all and your life will be changed for the betterforever.
1. Go beyond passion and success.2. Travel your own path.3. Live with the highest goal.4. Find true prosperity.5. Turn fears into breakthroughs.6. Relate from your heart.7. Experience synergy in every moment.8. Become a generative leader.”
The book is essentially organized around each of these steps, with the important reminder that we need to move beyond merely understanding them to actually LIVING them—thereby movingfrom knowledge to wisdom!
THE CRUEL GRIP OF SOCIETY 
“Of course, the most powerful obstacles to living in resonance with the highest goal come fromthe media, our schools, our parents and friends—our society. All of them tell us to chase asuccessful life that will be admired by others.
The Highest Goal
The Secret That Sustains You in Every Moment
BY MICHAEL RAY · BERRETT-KOEHLER PUBLISHERS, INC © 2005 · 184 PAGES
THE BIG IDEAS
Living the Highest Goal
Here are the steps.
The Cruel Grip of Society 
 And how to get out of it.
Stepping Up
 And into the Highest Goal.
Traveling Our Own Path
Is where it’s at.
Live-Withs
Super cool way to embody truths.
Bounty By-Products
Spiritual bounty --> material bounty.
Worry Time
Limit it to 30 minutes a day.
The Ultimate Challenge
Give your gifts!!
1
Philosophers
Notes
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The Highest Goal
 “None of the stories in this book are about living happily ever after. Instead, they are about living with morestrength, perspective, peaceand excitment.” 
~ Michael Ray
 
That inuence invades our dreams and our deepest thoughts. It holds us with a cruel grip. We
 buy into the game that society convinces us we should be playing, even if it draws us away from
 who we are at the core. We miss some of our greatest moments. We rationalize them away. We
can’t put them together into a consistent way of living our lives because we allow ourselves to bedistracted by the picture of success and the good life that these forces of society offer us.”I’m really conscious of what I allow into my head and haven’t owned a television in I don’t know how long.
I remember once a few years ago Alexandra and I NetFlix-ed the rst season of “Heroes” and
 within a few episodes we were both dreaming about the show and realized that was enough.
There was NO WAY we were gonna give our dream space over to *that* silliness.
Michael Beckwith comments on what he calls “the tyranny of the trends” in his awesome book 
 Spiritual Liberation
(see Notes):
“One of the ways we hijack our capacity to experience a stateof beholding is that we become swept up in what I call the ‘tyranny of trends.’ The tyranny of trends allows for the lowest common denominator to set the standard of success, and of course,‘coolness.’ Very often, trends convince individuals what their life’s purpose should be. Thetyranny of trends is blasted out at us from television, radio, newspapers, tabloids, computers,and even our dentist’s waiting room, attempting to convince us that we must smell a certain
way, wear a certain label, weigh a specic weight, have whiter teeth, drive a certain car, make
a certain income, and so on, before we can consider that we’ve made it.” 
 While Steven Presseld puts it succinctly (as he tends to do) in his classic book,
The War of Art 
(see Notes):
“We unplug ourselves from the grid by recognizing that we will never cure ourrestlessness by contributing our disposable income to the bottom line of Bullshit, Inc. but onlyby doing our work.” 
 And, nally, Tom Morris puts it brilliantly (as he tends to do!) in his great book 
The Art of  Achievement 
(see Notes):
“One of the great modern ailments of humanity is the enslavement toillusory pursuits... If we get the prize, it strangely fails to satisfy as promised. If we fail in ourquest, we feel unnecessary despondency. We’re oddly depressed about not getting what would 
not have satised us if we had managed to snag it. And then, all too often, we just begin a new
and equally illusory pursuit.” 
He continues with his solution:
“The meaning of life is not to be found in having lots of money, fame, prestige, or stuff. It’s to be found in living your proper quest of positive achievement. Make a difference in the lives of other people, make a difference for good, create newrelationships, new feelings, new structures of goodness in the world by what you do and whoyou are, and you will feel in that process what we so often seek with such futility in all thewrong places. The right sort of quest can be enjoyed at the deepest possible levels.” 
STEPPING INTO OUR HIGHEST GOAL
“In every moment we have a choice: Will we act from our highest goal or recede into something
else? For instance, sometimes in meetings I speak my truth no matter what the consequencesfor me. On other occasions I pull back to a comfortable silence and miss chances to make a real
contribution. When the latter occurs, I always feel sad, but I try to learn from it.”
This reminds me of Abraham Maslow’s wisdom that, in any given moment, we have a choice: wecan either step forward into growth or back into safety.Check out that Note for the +1 or -1 unconscious math goodness and remember: Those moment-to-moment choices determine both how we feel at the end of the day and our ultimate destiny.So, let’s choose wisely!Starting today. :)
2
Philosophers
Notes
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The Highest Goal
 “Most of us “sub-optimize,” that is, we gofor the short-term and thetransitory. Go beyond theselesser goals to use your gift of life you have bee given.” 
~ Michael Ray
 
TRAVELING OUR OWN PATH
“The key is to do what works for you so that you begin to develop your own path. You don’t rejectthe people and traditions of your early life; rather, you begin to develop your own tradition and work with your own teachers.
This is a lifelong journey—no matter how old you are, this process of nding what works and
discovering your path gives your life meaning. You continually develop your understanding of  your relationship to the highest goal. By creating from your highest goal and living on your pathtoward it, you inspire others. And this becomes your greatest legacy.”This is from a chapter entitled “Travel Your Own Path” that speaks to the importance of discovering and living our own, personal, most authentic truths.This is the essence of the hero’s journey (which Ray describes in the book). Joseph Campbell hasthis to say about it (see Notes on
 A Joseph Campbell Companion
):
“You enter the forest at thedarkest point, where there is no path. Where there is a way or a path, it is someone else’s path.You are not on your own path. If you follow someone else’s way, you are not going to realizeyour potential.” 
 While Carlos Castaneda (see Notes on
The Wheel of Time
) shares this eternally awesome wisdom:
“Anything is one of a million paths. Therefore, a warrior must always keep in mind that a path is only a path; if he feels that he should not follow it, he must not stay with it underany conditions. His decision to keep on that path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. He must look at every path closely and deliberately. There is a question that a warrior has toask, mandatorily: ‘Does this path have a heart?’” 
 Another one of my favorite thoughts on the subject is from Howard Thurman who says:
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what theworld needs is people who have come alive.” 
So, we’ve gotta discover OUR path. When we do? Well, that in itself is deeply inspiring for
others!
In fact, Steven Presseld, in his *awesome* book 
The War of Art 
(see Notes), says this:
“The best and only thing one artist can do for another is to serve as an example and an inspiration.” 
Back to Campbell—this time from his great book 
The Power of Myth
(see those Notes, too!). He’s being interviewed by Bill Moyers who says:
“In this sense, unlike heroes such as Prometheus or Jesus, we’re not going on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves.” 
Campbell’s response:
“But in doing that, you save the world. The inuence of a vital person
vitalizes, there’s no doubt about it. The world without spirit is wasteland. People have thenotion of saving the world by shifting things around, changing the rules, and who’s on top, and so forth. No, no! Any world is a valid world if it’s alive. The thing to do is to bring life to it, and 
the only way to do that is to nd in your own case where the life is and become alive yourself.” 
 And, back to Ray:
“When you act from the highest goal over and over again, you slowly discover
that you are traveling your own path. This is the key to grabbing on to your highest goal: Youhave your own way—your own inner power, your own contribution, your own methods andapproaches, and your own experience of the highest goal. Once you recognize this, your lifecan be a quest to discover your path and live from it. You accept that obstacles or tests containpowerful lessons and opportunities. You see that when you give yourself fully to life and thehighest goal, as you do naturally when you are tested, a grace infuses you.” Amen. And, here’s to traveling our own path and inspiring others in the process!!
3
Philosophers
Notes
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The Highest Goal
 “And I understand now thatI really don’t do anything.I just stay tuned to thatconnection with what is transcendent in the world.If I keep at it, exactly what is supposed to happen takes place.” 
~ Michael Ray

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