Are failures in life inevitable? Does the Higher Power, once attained, see to it that we only succeed?
Try to understand the difference between living from something within yourself, whose nature is contentment itself, and living from those parts of yourself that are forever seeking contentment. For the man or woman who persists with the wish for Truth/God to be first in life, there really is no such thing as failure. Why? Because every action taken under the auspices of this inner wish purifies the person holding it in his or her heart -- leaving greater clarity and more inward certainty about what forwards the Truth's action and what hinders it. In short, the person begins to win true Wisdom with its infallible Intelligence.
The idea that we should "take no thought for the morrow" sounds great... to live each moment as it is... yet how can we practice this and still set goals for ourselves?
It is not a question of setting goals and having directives versus being spiritually awake. The real issue is the right order of things. Being awake and self-aware must come before personal goals; otherwise, the nature setting those goals may have an agenda contrary to Real Life. One level of self feels it cannot be fulfilled without continually reinventing a new future for itself wherein it is at last a "winner," while our True Nature rests content in reality and knows now that it already possesses everything it needs. We must choose which of these natures we will nourish.
How does one know that they are in their true vocation in life? My interests wander so much at times, but I know one thing for sure: I don't feel the true satisfaction and peace that I think I should feel in life.
Let me answer you differently than you might expect. The quality of our life is first and foremost an expression of the level of our understanding. Without self-understanding, you could be the king of this planet and you would still feel empty and unfulfilled. With self-understanding, whatever you do has a life within it. This life born of higher self-understanding is fulfillment itself. "Seek ye first" means all things good come to those for whom the good is all things.
The fear of not having enough drives my life. I am so confused about what my true purpose should be, and I long to strike a balance between worldly concerns and spiritual growth.
Ask yourself the following question: Can anything I am afraid to live without ever be the source of my fearlessness? The answer is obviously a resounding "No!" But what does this discovery teach us? What good is anything we may have if all it can do for us is make us frightened that one day we may not have enough of "it"... whatever that "it" may be -- money, approval, family, friends, etc.? We must get tired of being frightened that one day we may not have enough of what it is in our lives that has failed and is powerless to make us fearless human beings. Then, as it grows clear to us that our problem is fear itself, we will know exactly what to do each time we start to feel afraid. We will become consciously fearless. We will be aware of the fear, but no longer buy into what it wants us to do about it. Here begins the truly fearless life.
Mother Theresa once said, "The more you have, the less you have to give." Would it be good for us to be poor? Why do physical possessions seem to have this "corruptive" nature that is so antithetical to the spiritual life?
In a word: identification. Now add to this idea what it means to be attached to things. We are never attached to the objects themselves; rather we are attached to the sense of self we derive from our ideas about these objects as to what they "make us." Goodness has nothing to do with either poverty or wealth relative to this world and its possible possessions. There is a poverty that true spiritual aspirants discover, but it has nothing to do with ownership or the lack of it. This poverty is the discovery that we had mistaken ourselves to be something we were not. This realization is the beginning of real riches.