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The Secret to Personal Evolution

by: Deepak Chopra

You alone are the explorer of your inner world. Of all the ways to unfold your inner potential, by far the most powerful is to use the flow of evolution.  Evolution isn't just a theory but a force that has been working in every cell of your body since you were born. As a child, you experienced evolution as a process of growth that you didn't have to choose—your body was programmed to evolve from the infant state.

The main focus of your life may have been earning a living, raising a family, and exploring the world “out there.” Even so, now you can become skilled at building the self you actually want by choosing to evolve. The force of evolution is working for you if you can do what came naturally as a child.

As an adult, however, evolution is a choice. The key is simple. There is only one thing you need to do to align with the force of evolution: Participate in your own consciousness. Pay attention to being alert and aware. As you do, you will develop new skills in awareness that will affect every choice you make in life. The most evolved choice is the one that benefits you the most in body, mind, and spirit. You can't decide how to make such ideal choices using only your intellect. Only awareness knows what is good for awareness.

The first step is to go inside, making this a part of your daily routine. Most people spend hardly a minute dwelling in the deep silence and peace that exists inside them; it is foreign territory. But the world’s wisdom traditions discovered that awareness possesses a secret hid­den advantage. Awareness wants to expand and evolve; this natural tendency has always been part of your makeup.

If you delve into our own awareness, you will notice the following:

  • Ever since you were a child, your mind has favored moving forward over inertia. It doesn’t like being stuck.
  • Once it begins, evolution accelerates its pace.
  • Consciousness naturally expands. The path of desire is fueled by wanting more.
  • The better you know yourself, the better your life becomes.
  • Positive intentions are supported more than negative intentions.
  • Individual consciousness is connected to a higher conscious­ness, which we sense as a feeling of belonging to a higher purpose.

When you adopt evolution as your main goal, there are practical questions you can ask every day as you check in on your progress:

  • How can I move forward today?
  • Is my personal growth accelerating?
  • Do I know myself better?
  • Do I enjoy my life more?
  • Am I becoming more positive as self-judgment falls away?
  • Do I feel connected to a higher vision of life and a higher power that makes this vision come true?

These are practical things, markers on the spiritual journey. I measure my own evolution by them every day. I am moving forward if I feel more compassion, less blame, and greater calmness. My personal growth is accelerating when a goal that I thought would take years—such as dropping the need for anger—arrives much sooner. I firmly believe in being as down-to-earth as possible. 

There have been moments when I was sitting on the fast train from New York to Boston and gazing out at the gray landscape whizzing by; I merged into it, feeling as if Deepak had vanished and there was only Being, the peace of pure existence. These privileged moments are the kind of markers I’m talking about. They show me that evolution is a real force working through me, a force that is universal and personal at the same time. I can't imagine a greater gift.

 

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About the Author

Deepak Chopra

Deepak Chopra, M.D is the author of more than 65 books, including numerous New York Times bestsellers. His medical training is in internal medicine and endocrinology, and he is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and an adjunct professor of Executive Programs at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is also a Distinguished Executive Scholar at Columbia Business School, Columbia University, and a Senior Scientist at the Gallup organization.

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