‘Be faithful to that which exists within yourself.’—Andre Gide, French author and winner of Nobel Prize for Literature, 1947
To achieve a personal sense of worth or to feel successful, many people depend on others’ approval, and most seek it in achievements external to their selves. If that’s how you lead your life, you are in for trouble.
For example, you may feel happy and fulfilled only if your colleagues or family members appreciate you. Or you may be delighted when you make fast money. This means if friends criticize you tomorrow or if you were to lose money, you’d be devastated. In other words, you have handed over the reins of your life to factors external to yourself.
Now instead, assume you take charge of your life and experience deep satisfaction regardless of your external situations. This means, even if your business fluctuates or your friends misunderstand you, you’d remain contented. Can you imagine the control you’d then have on your own mental world? And you would also be able to help others
more effectively because you are no more inhibited by your mind’s tantrums. Would you seek this kind of happiness? And it costs nothing! As an ancient Indian proverb says, ‘There is nothing noble about being superior to another man. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self.’
First, ask yourself what you really want in life. If you were to die now, what would you like to be remembered for by those who matter to you? Write down a sentence or a paragraph or even a short poem or a phrase that describes your life’s mission. Then list down activities that would lead you towards your goal. Maybe, before all of this, you need to take a break and relax on a beach or a mountainside and reflect on life’s true meaning for you.
Take a step backward in life and then you can really shoot forward, just as a bowman carefully pulls the arrow behind to help attain the farthest distance
To be continued…