I’m a seeker and a searcher. I’m constantly looking for what’s next, what’s new, the new challenge, goal, achievement, knowledge, wisdom, and on and on it goes. For the past two decades, my journey of seeking and searching has led me to many wisdom teachers in the form of books, podcasts, mentors, coaches, and business advisors. From all the information I’ve gathered my biggest realization is: there is no silver bullet. (Sorry if this disappoints you so early in the article.)
When I started my business, I wanted to know everything about building and sustaining a successful business. I had great coaches and mentors. They were all smart and successful and I learned a lot from them. My business was successful (by societal standards) and yet, I kept searching. I felt there was more to learn and wanted my business to expand and help more people.
The business growth quest morphed into my desire for personal growth, which morphed into a quest for spiritual growth. I worked with and learned from spiritual teachers who were far ahead of me on the journey. And after years of searching and seeking, learning, and implementing I came to the realization that one person or program is not the be-all, end-all answer for anyone. Maybe you already know this. I did not. Maybe you also already know that what we’re seeking and searching for is never external to us – it’s always within us.
The more I searched outside of me for the “thing” to take my business to the next level or to propel my spiritual and personal development higher, the more I kept searching for something outside of me. You’d think with all my spiritual mentors, I would have come to this realization (that the answer is always within) much sooner. But no, I kept searching, until I recently reached the end of a business venture that failed to meet my expectations, despite my taking everyone else’s advice and my mentor’s blueprint for “success”. Perhaps he or many of you would have rated my venture a success, but I did not. My expectations were not met. And that’s when it hit me that I need to stop searching for the blueprint or the person outside of me to answer my question of how to improve myself or any area of my life. The answers to those questions are never outside of me.
The longer I searched for that external silver bullet, the longer I journeyed on the road of disappointment. Why? Because no one knows my answers but ME. That doesn’t mean we cannot seek advisors, coaches, or mentors. After all, I’m a coach! I believe in and know coaching and mentoring work. What doesn’t work is when you rely on them or anything external to provide you with your silver bullet. There won’t be any one person or thing that answers your quest for growth (be it business, personal, or spiritual). There won’t be any one person or thing that answers your quest for wisdom, knowledge, or information. What there will be are a variety of people, books, information, wisdom teachers, and knowledge that you gather, internalize, and assess. You evaluate that information against what your own intuition and heart tell you is YOUR answer. This is always the way to your truth. Looking for that external silver bullet keeps you on the path of endless seeking and searching in the external world.
What I learned and implemented since my most recent disappointment is that all the information and wisdom I’ve gathered is only good for me if it’s aligned with the callings of my soul. The only way I can know that is to look to myself for the truth of what I’ve learned and assess how it syncs with my desires, values, and purpose. Looking back, I can easily see where I went astray; that with each quest or search for new information, I always knew what to hold onto and what to toss. My intuition always told me, but I did not always heed it. In those times of not heeding it, a disappointment would ensue and another quest for information, knowledge and wisdom would begin in an effort to get better and overcome the disappointment.
Once you go within for your answers and act from there, those quests for information, knowledge, and wisdom don’t arise from the panicky desire to find the silver bullet to fix what still feels broken. Instead, they arise from a desire to have more information and wisdom to internalize and weigh against your inner compass. So, the truth is, there is a silver bullet – it’s you.
This post was originally published in The Huffington Post on October 4, 2016.