June 29, 2016

4 Questions to Help Discover if Our Need for More is Rooted in Ego.

Deniz Altinadas/Unsplash

Warning: Naughty language ahead.


As soulful seekers, there’s an innate drive that motivates us to become the best possible version of ourselves.

It calls to us to seek greater levels of happiness and abundance in all areas of our life, and gives us the desire to help others do the same.

But, it begs the question—are we using our spiritual path merely as a cover to try and fulfill our egoic desires? Or are we truly trying to be constructive and serve from the heart by sharing our light via accomplishing great things with our life?

I call this the “abundance conundrum,” when we feel a deep desire for more, but aren’t fully confident in our motivation or intention as to why. And this feeling forces us to ask this question:

Is it egotistical to want more out of life?

Here’s the straight, no-chaser answer. No. Hell no.

From the higher self perspective, it’s not egotistical. Not even a little bit. And most people are surprised to hear me say that.

Wanting more is 100 percent in alignment with our soul nature and the natural world around us. Allow me to use a metaphor to explain.

My father-in-law has a tomato garden. He went out of town once and asked my husband and I to water it while he was gone. In just seven days, I had more damn tomatoes than I’d ever seen in my entire life. I could have filled up a swimming pool with them. I had so many, I started leaving them anonymously on my neighbors’ front porches.

So, what’s my point?

That little tomato plant didn’t stop to ask itself whether or not it was okay to grow a boatload of tomatoes. It didn’t wonder whether or not it was “wrong” to be the best tomato-making, bad-ass it could be.

That little plant was in perfect alignment with who it is and what it’s supposed to do in this world—which is be a great tomato bush and grow lots and lots of yummy tomatoes.

It simply grows as many heirlooms as it possibly can given the circumstances it’s in. That’s it. Abundance made easy peasy. And we are meant to do the same. We are here to give the world our talents and gifts. Those are our “tomatoes.”

We’re here to create as much epic shit as we can, for as long as we can, with whatever resources we have at each moment for the rest of our (hopefully long) life.

Our desire to want more is a fundamental part of our growth. In psychology we call it the desire to “self-actualize.” In spirituality we call it the desire to attain “enlightenment.” And we describe it in an everyday way when we say we “want more.”

Ego has nothing to do with it. Unless doing so comes from a place of misalignment, lack or over-attachment. And here’s how to tell if that’s where we are.

Below are four questions to ask ourselves to discover if our “drive to thrive” is rooted in heart…or not.

1. Are we judging ourselves (or others) about having strong ambitions or success?

Success and egotism tend to be correlated in our minds. We believe that successful people usually get there by caring more about themselves and money than people and relationships. In truth, the size of our ego and our level of success have nothing to do with one another. There are plenty of perfectly humble successful people in the world and plenty of arrogant unsuccessful people.

Wanting success doesn’t make you egotistical. Being an arrogant a-hole does. Stay humble, but be outrageously determined and ambitious when it comes to committing to personal success.

2. Do we really want the things we’re working toward or do we want them because others have them and we don’t?

Let’s do a quick exercise. Write down the top three aspirations you have right now. Ask yourself, “Self, do I really, in my heart of hearts, in the deepest part of my soul, genuinely care about attaining these things? If so, why are they important to me?“ 

When we are operating in alignment with our “mores,” the answer will usually be something like this…

“I want this because it sounds crazy fun.”
“I want to do/have/be this to challenge myself, and I think this is the best way to go about it.”
“I feel compelled to do this. I know it’s completely irrational, but I overwhelmingly feel it’s what I’m called to do.”

If our answers don’t sound something like this, then what we’re after might not be coming from a place of aligned desire.

3. Do we believe that it’s selfish or morally wrong to be financially, emotionally or mentally abundant?

The idea that it’s dishonorable to “have more” because it’s selfish or that others might suffer because of this is total crap. That’s like saying the tomato plant shouldn’t grow as many tomatoes as it can because the plant next to it isn’t able or willing to do it too.

Great! Now everyone is poor, broke and hungry.

Remember, our job is to grow as many tomatoes as we can. Then we’re in a powerful position to help those who have less. We have a sacred responsibility to use the abilities we were given for good. Diminishing our light so others don’t feel bad (or judge us) is simply crazy-pants.

4. Do we really believe that we possess the ability to create or accomplish what we want most?

As wild as it sounds, sometimes we use our ego as an excuse to not go after our dreams. On a subconscious level, we have serious doubts about whether or not we’ve got what it takes to make big things happen.

So instead, we adopt the belief that it’s egotistical to pursue our goal, which psychologically justifies our inaction, making it possible to never face our real fears head-on. If this sounds familiar, please stop. Yes, we can do it.

It’s time for us to get out there and start sharing our tomatoes.


Author: Heather Alice Shea

Image: Deniz Altinadas/Unsplash

Editor: Nicole Cameron; Catherine Monkman

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