Appreciate yourself and what you have
A better life has been achieved when we are no longer trying to achieve a better life.
This means that we are content, as we should be, with ourselves and what we have.
To be anxious for more or to envy someone else's life or possessions is self-defeating. We are then in a constant state of frustration, always hoping and waiting for more happiness.
So what is important? Enough, not more.
"Think of what you have rather than of what you lack. Of the things you have, select the best and then reflect how eagerly you would have sought them if you did not have them." - Marcus Aurelius (121-180)
There is here and now, much to appreciate. There is life itself with friends, family, and everything that is naturally before us. We just have to look around and take it in. Perhaps it is time to make a list of all the good things we have to grateful for.
Are there people in your life that you would miss dearly if they were not here? When you go for a walk don't you see, hear, and smell, many things to appreciate and feel nice about? Like the flowers, trees, birds and the clouds in the sky. A caterpillar crossing the sidewalk or your neighbor waving. A cute pup or child enthusiastically enjoying that moment in life.
"Whether in favor or in humiliation, be not dismayed. Let your eyes leisurely look at the flowers blooming and falling in your courtyard. Whether you leave or retain your position, take no care. Let your mind wander with the clouds folding and unfolding beyond the horizon." - Hung Tzu-ch'eng (1593-1665)
I always say to my children, as long as you try your best, there is no such thing as failure. I believe this one hundred percent and it is a philosophy I am trying to install into my kids.
When I worked in the insurance industry, I used to sit the insurance examinations. I would always study hard and give it my all, however there were only three options as results. These were, distinction, pass or fail. I hate this word fail, in their eyes I failed twice, but did I though? As already stated, I could not have tried any harder, therefore how dare they call me a failure.
This result of fail is also a very negative and some what cruel mark. The question I would like answered is, did I fail by a long way, only a couple of points or quite a few points? Seeing the word fail tells me nothing. I personally think that everybody should be given a mark, possibly with an A for the best mark, going down to a G for the worst.
I was discussing this very subject with a colleague from work. He actually agreed with the points I was making and told me about an argument he had with one of his teachers when he was at school. He had overheard this particular teacher, discussing his sisters previous years examination results, with another teacher. They were being very critical about her, basically saying how badly she had done. My colleague knew how much effort his sister had put in and told the teacher as much, stating that in his eyes she had passed every one of those exams.
Internal defeat is a mindset, where you begin to believe that most new ideas will fail. You might think -”After all, what I tried in last week's Yoga class, failed.”
You will always learn from mistakes. When you see them clearly as a test, examine the results, and study them closely for the reason why they went wrong.
Whether it is a lesson plan, trying mantras, Hot Yoga, Gentle Yoga, a pro shop, or trying anything new, it is better to make mistakes than do nothing at all.
Some of the most successful Yoga teachers, I know, deal with mistakes as part of the learning curve. They turn all of their defeats into learning experiences. This is extremely powerful when you consider the cost of learning anything of value.
After all, what did you spend on your education, so far? Did you think you would stop learning at a certain point in life? Did you learn from your past mistakes? Of course you did, and now you are stronger due to the corrective adjustments, you have made.
When a child learns to ride a bicycle, there are plenty of falls along the way, and then the falling stops. However, even skilled adults fall off bicycles, sometimes.
So, don’t take past failures personally. Put them behind you and learn from each one.
Henry Ford and the Wright Brothers had failures, but nobody seems to remember that. Just like them, you are not a failure, but you may have failed in the past, just like they did. When you get down on yourself, look back at what you have accomplished.
Lastly, whenever it is possible, learn from the mistakes of others. Whatever you do in life, as long as you try your best, your can do no more. It just makes good sense to be satisfied and at peace with yourself and others, and to enjoy life now.