The way we see ourselves forms our life. For example, if I see myself as a “problem solver” and I see problem solving as one of my strengths, then life will be provide me with many problems. If I see myself as someone who needs to produce many visible achievements made possible by overcoming great challenges, then life will provide me with me with many great challenges.
The purpose of liberation is to overcome one’s habitual self. Thus, if I would like to have fewer problems in my life, I might want to resist the pull of my habitual self. If I loose interest in seeking to impress myself and others, then I might want to cease following the pull of challenge in my life as it arises.
For many spiritual people achievement will take the form of who can the meditate the longest and have the highest standing in their spiritual community of choice. It is little different from any other form of achievement. The underlying pull is toward achievement and the outward manifestation of accomplishment designed to impress others and one’s self.
We see that our “personal identity” is nurtured by ego needs.
If I want to discover my true self, then I need to do exactly this in my life. The pull toward the habitual self will be nearly constant. What choice do we have but to allow the outward pull to happen. But with understanding we can see where following that pull leads us. So we can remain in the seat of tranquility and feel the pull without loading any personal identity into it. That is the key. The pull is just another happening – no different from the urge we experience when seeing a delicious brownie when we’d like to weigh a little less. The pull can be powerful, but it doesn’t need to be our ruler and we don’t need to be its slave.