There are lessons to be learned from even the most unlikely sources—your enemies, the opposition, strangers, and even the hateful, absurd characters you will inevitably encounter.
We can learn patience when facing those who refuse to use their reason. Take care, however, that you too do not become one of these foolish spectacles.
We can learn temperance and moderation by not allowing the antagonization by others to influence us to act in a harmful or hasty manner.
If a person has the power to disrupt your peace of mind, learn quickly how to find your way to a centrist path where you both can live with little conflict.
If the universe is designed to teach us lessons, then foremost of those teachings would be the value of patience. With enough time passed all can be forgotten.
This works to guide us to build our lives strategically and to ensure we do not waste our finite resources needlessly.
We will all face obstacles in our lives we would rather avoid. Remember, it’s not possible to avoid the grasp time.
Rather than fear sickness, age, poverty or conflict, we can better use each moment we are given to plan, build and sustain the governing our lives.
If we plan well, we can reduce much of the pain we expect to experience in life.
Some suggest that one cannot have too much of the good things in life. I think We all know this to be untrue from our own experiences.
The truth is that a life absent any difficulty allows you no opportunity to ever become more than the flesh that walks the earth.
Hardship builds both our physical and mental endurance. It is that mental stimulation which provides the quintessential value of the human condition.
We must learn to build our lives to seek out challenges to overcome—this choice to seek out hardships will differentiate us from everything else.
- Too much food makes us fat.
- Too much leisure makes us lazy.
I think in the grand scheme of things we also too often find ourselves with too much time on our hands. I find myself making excuses for not accomplishing more in my day—or life. The fault, however, is always my own.
I become stuck in the doldrums of inaction and rather than lighting a fire in my spirit to motivate me to achieve more, I lie inert and simply let the day pass on by.
How strange it is that we declare that we want changes in our world, but we never make the effort to bring anything new about.
I know of four timeless virtues.
The Wisdom to know you’re often wrong in your beliefs and that others are better qualified to illuminate the truth.
The Courage to endure hardship in the name of progress rather than retreating to a life of comfort and leisure.
The surrender to Justice wherein we sacrifice our personal privilege for the security of the whole; we create law and surrender to order so that discord and tyranny do not consume us.
The Temperance to accept no extremes and always seek, and if not found, to create a middle path; we do not force ourselves on others but find a way for all of us to share the communal space and its burdens.
There is no point worrying about those things you cannot change.
Remember, your day will largely be controlled by matters which are beyond your control and will be left in the hands of nature. The weather, the traffic and the prices in the market are beyond your control and are more akin to the ebbing tide. So, just as you would not let the rising tide disturb your peace of mind, you must learn to treat other matters in the same way.
Control what you can in this life—namely, your reactions to these external events.
All things in life are bound in limitations. We cannot be otherwise. So, why then do we expect the unreasonable? We are neither limitless nor minute.
We must be patient with ourselves and take but one action—one step—at a time. We should not spend our time in dreams or in fearing tomorrow. Focus instead on the present day you are given.
Do not expect fortune to favor you. Rather, use each day fully and be engaged as soon as it begins until it closes. Ask yourself: what did I build today and where did I squander my time?
“Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.” —Matthew 5:42
A man came to me today and asked for help.
- I did not fear him.
- I did not judge him.
- I blessed him.
- I gave freely.
The world is only as treacherous or as sad as we choose to make it. Just as we can make our own lives more difficult through poor decisions and bountiful with wise decisions, we have the same power to do so for others.
Leave judgments of all kinds behind. It matters not how well you can debate or reason anyway. You cannot change the mind of a person who does not desire change. It is better then to be silent and hold your tongue.
So, people remain the same until they are finally ready and willing to question everything around them. Harbor no resentment. Treat them with kindness and always better than they treat you.
- Do not give with the hope to change the world—it will always be as it is— full of fortune and misfortune.
- Do not give to feel better about yourself. You cannot purchase a lasting purpose.
- Do not give in the hope of recognition. You cannot buy admiration—you can only inspire it.
- In all ways, I say give to relieve suffering. That is enough.
It’s not a responsibility of ours to determine who deserves favor. Generosity is a gift you can give to whoever you please. But it is a gift, and the greatest acts of kindness are given in unexpected and compassionate ways.
“When you look to nature you never find perfection. You find beauty. You find organization. You find purpose.”
You must stop looking for perfection in your life. You’ll just end up wasting time chasing an impossible dream.
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek excellence. Push yourself and others to perform better, stronger, more amazing feats, but recognize that excellence is what you are seeking and not perfection.
Excellence is about overcoming obstacles by creating systems of success.
When we focus on perfection as our goal, we can only be disappointed and fail in our endeavors. This is because perfection can only be achieved in the imaginative minds of men and women and not in our waking world. So, stop setting yourself up for failure.
Try searching for purpose instead, and use that to drive your performance to new levels of excellence. Don’t forget, all good systems of success are based on a solid foundation of good habits.
- What’s one habit you can’t commit to accomplishing?
- What is the driving force behind your desire to change or grow?
“The universe seldom give us everything we want, but it always provides a means to get what we need.”
You don’t always have a choice of where you start in life. Sometimes you get a second chance, often you won’t. In many ways, you’re simply a garden seed thrown upon a patch of soil and left to grow or wither at your own leisure.
Nature isn’t all that concerned with the individual. You’re one of many, and therefore nature spends its time making life better for the many—evolving resistance to disease for example, but not planning you a happy life of pleasure.
You of course have the choice to lie down and wait for the good things to come your way—but they won’t. You could also recognize that there is no grand universal agenda holding you back—that’s a start.
Well, there is one agenda holding you back—but’s that’s you. It’s your prerogative to decide how you wish to frame your life. Are you a victim or a warrior? Are you resilient enough to own your life and pilot your way through the rough and stormy seas?
So, that’s where you are today. You’re in a sea of possibilities. For many of you there is a tempest brewing and your life is on the edge of despair. What are you going to do? Your life is in danger of falling apart.
- Do you remain motionless in the storm and hope for the best?
- Do you prepare for the storm to get worse and adjust your heading as to avoid some likely danger ahead?
- Do you abandon ship, friends and family and hope things are better in the sea alone?