Sense of Self

“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” – Harry S. Truman

How much of what you do, would you say is ego driven? One indicator of this is whether you await or actively seek the approbation of others when you accomplish things and then don’t feel fulfilled if you don’t get it. 

Feedback is useful and important, but predicating that which you do on the likelihood of getting personal praise greatly limits your effectiveness in living. Your scope of personal accomplishment is not based solely on what you alone can do, rather, it is magnified by your ability to achieve in concert with others. 

It can be useful to ask yourself how well you get along with others when engaged in the business of achieving. Looking honestly at how you feel when others receive for things you’ve done is also revealing of the state of your sense of self.

If you truly understand your value, you would not see it as being based on outer recognition. Your true value is absolute, whether or not it is recognized or appreciated by others. 

That said, you must let it be revealed for it to have any meaning. And how you reveal it is perhaps one of the most important matters to which you can give the attention of your heart and mind, that you will ever encounter in living. 

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The World’s Plans

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

If there is one thing that is certain, it is that the world has plans for you. Most, if not all of the time, those plans have little to nothing to do with who you really are at the core of you. 

The world’s plans are presented in a variety of  ways. For example, they may come couched in expectations from parents or community. They may be cloaked in cultural or national patterns of normalcy. They often have economic and sociological dimensions. 

The world’s plans for you are ubiquitous, so much so that it can be hard to get the distance necessary to realize that you are much more than the world would have you be. 

Greed and fear are in many ways the father and mother of the world we have today. The world’s plans for you are the child of this union. In a world governed by this unruly tyrant, wants are confused with needs, fulfillment is defined in terms of getting rather than giving, lust displaces true love, and beliefs and superstitions trump truth. 

Rest assured, you can live in this world, as it was once put, and yet not be of it. You need not submit to the cruel mastery of fear and greed. You can be ruled by another spirit altogether: love. 

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“Softly”, a haiku by Gregg Hake

Softly sets the sun-

It’s warm glow makes the earth blush

On her way to sleep

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Your Attitude

One of my work associates was describing his approach to life the other day and he summed it up in a few simple, but profound words:

“You see, it’s very easy. I know that every morning when I wake up I have a choice to make: I can either establish that I am going to have a good day or choose to have a bad day. So every day, I choose to have a good day.”

You cannot choose what will happen around you, but you can establish your positioning in relation to it. Your attitude need not be situationally dependent. Your attitude is not up to somebody or something else. It is yours to determine and yours to maintain. 

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Personal Best

It occurred to me today that the notion of your “personal best” applies to both being and doing. 

In the sense of being, your highest and finest – your personal best – relates to letting the truth of you be revealed in its fullest possible glory. Achieving your personal best, on the other hand relates to applying best efforts to the accomplishment of some thing. 
The quality of your “letting”, on the one hand, and of your “forging” or “begetting” on the other, determines your effectiveness in living. Take time to ask yourself: “Am I being all I can be and am I doing my personal best?” If not, well, don’t beat yourself up about it or make more excuses. Get to work! 

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Educated Nature

“Speak as educated nature suggests to you, and you will do well, but let it be educated and not raw, rude, uncultivated nature. Demosthenes took unbounded pains with his voice, and Cicero, who was naturally weak, made a long journey into Greece to correct his manner of speaking. With far nobler themes, let us not be less ambitious to excel.” – Charles Spurgeon

Your educated nature is the higher, refined side of your outer personality. It is transformed by virtue of diligent study and careful expression.

It does not matter how educated you may be at any given point in time, how many degrees you have or what marks you made in your studies, the fact of the matter is that you can always improve upon where you now stand.

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