Humans are both biological and spiritual beings. The spirit desires expansion -- that's where we get the idea to attain a goal in the first place. Our biology, however, dictates that we seek security and safety -- that's why we feel resistance to anything unfamiliar. So the spiritual impulse is to grow, and the biological impulse is to keep things as they are.
Chuck C., in his speech that became the book A New Pair of Glasses, quotes from Hindu scriptures the first verse of the Isha Upanishad:
The whole world is the garment of the Lord. Renounce it, then, and receive it back as the gift of God.
On page 68 of the Big Book Alcoholics Anonymous, pay attention to the word "Just:"
Just to the extent that we do as we think He would have us, and humbly rely on Him, does He enable us to match calamity with serenity.
I've been struggling with trying to understand how to remove a self-imposed ceiling on success. Over a period of several days since I first started the draft of this entry, God's been actively working on telling me. I've been listening, absorbing, becoming open to his input. Chuck C, going on from the quote above, says that as long as something meant something to him, he couldn't have it. He admonishes us not to do anything as a means to an end---even to the extent of doing something to get to heaven. We don't act nice so somebody will love us, we don't limit ourselves so we won't draw attention to ourselves, we don't work hard to get ahead and have a secure income and protection for ourselves and our loved ones. Those aren't necessarily bad things to try for, but tyring for them he describes (the examples are mostly mine and not his) as self-robbery. He tells us to be good for nothing. My editor friends would have a field-day trying to edit that sentence. I have a feeling it needs a dash or something, but I like it the way it is. I'm going on that goal--being good for nothing. I'll strive to figure out God's will for me at the moment and do that, leaving the rest to him.
Perhaps the best thing of all for me is to remember that my serenity is inversely proportional to my expectations. The higher my expectations of Max and other people are, the lower is my serenity. I can watch my serenity level rise when I discard my expectations. But then my "rights" try to move in, and they too can force my serenity level down. I have to discard my "rights," as well as my expectations, by asking myself, How important is it, really? How important is it compared to my serenity, my emotional sobriety? And when I place more value on my serenity and sobriety than on anything else, I can maintain them at a higher level--at least for the time being. (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th edition, page 420)
To yield to "seeming" is man's essential cowardice, to resist it is his essential courage. -- Martin Buber
So, I'm off to be good for nothing.