Most of the people that have had a major impact on my life were people that I have had direct contact with. Parents, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles etc. shape who we are and help us define the world around us.
But one person that has made a major impact on my life is Dr. Wayne Dyer. Though I have never met Dr. Dyer, his messages through books, videos, TV shows, etc. impacted my life in an incredible way. I was very heartbroken last week when I had learned that Dr. Dyer has passed away.
Dr. Dyer brought a message that was unique for me at the time. I was reading a lot of books on business, money, and success. I felt that success was defined as “more.” More money, more achievements, and more fame meant more success and more happiness. While Dr. Dyer certainly could be defined as successful by any of those parameters, he opened my eyes to a new perspective.
One of the first things that he taught that challenged my way of thinking was when he talked about the ego. He said the ego drives us in a very specific way and it tells us that:
1. You are what you have
2. You are what you do
3. You are what others think of you
When I first read that, I immediately thought, what else is there? Those were the measuring sticks I often used in life. Hearing that the ego drives us away from happiness was shocking. He went on to say that the ego says:
4. You are separate from what you want in life
5. You are separate from everyone else
6. You are separate from God
This information challenged my beliefs about life in a profound way. I evaluated my life under this lens for so long that I couldn’t image anything different. I made up my mind to explore this and find out what the “other” perspective is, if the ego is taking me away from happiness.
The biggest change in my thinking came when I read Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life. I can still remember reading it and being frustrated because I disagreed with so much of what was being said. I just couldn’t comprehend these ideas and felt they were so counter to the experiences I have had in life.
I finally decided that, maybe I have been wrong. Maybe I have been wrong about life and this “wrongness” is causing pain and confusion. Maybe my struggle to reach a place of happiness is because I was constantly evaluating the world and all my decisions through the ego mindset.
I decided to read the book and study the Tao in a way that accepted it as being true rather than as a skeptic. I started to take the wisdom of the Tao and use it to shape my life. An incredible thing started to happen.
I learned that we could accomplish much by trying less. I learned that there is no way to happiness, rather, happiness is the way. The biggest thing that I learned is that the ego drives us away from contentment and happiness. But by being aware of the motivations of the ego we can start to follow the divine part of us that is the opposite of the ego.
It was from this that I finally started to find my way. I started to understand life in a much more accepting way. I realized the perfection of it all. Once I realized that, I have been able to slowly nudge my life’s direction more and more towards contentment and further away from the ego. It is a lifelong journey but I absolutely see that a major pivot point for me was finding Dr. Wayne Dyer’s work.
Though I never met Dr. Dyer, I am eternally grateful for his message and subsequent impact on my life. From Dr. Wayne Dyer I learned a new definition of happiness and acquired a better lens to view life.