February 2nd, 2011
In my research of ancient texts and the wisdom of the ages, I recently came across a fascinating passage describing the four essential components for happiness. These are Self-Mastery, Courage, Wisdom and Justice.
Self-Mastery could be called self-discipline or even self-control. It is something that almost all of us have difficulty achieving in our life time. No one says it’s easy but it is certainly vital. Nothing great can be achieved without some degree of Self-Mastery. Human beings are generally lazy and choose the path of least resistance. Obstacles scare the hell out of us! Rather than embracing obstacles as an interesting challenge and a chance to grow, we run away. When we forget that obstacles can be our best teachers, we lose the opportunity to learn and develop the Wisdom we need to achieve higher levels of performance.
Do you want to improve your Self-Mastery? Start by becoming mindful of your feelings. If you feel down, depressed, or discouraged, you are probably avoiding life’s obstacles. You are running away from something you should be embracing. As a result, you are living in a self-created pseudo reality – a twilight zone. Perhaps you have the feeling that things don’t seem fully real or they lack vividness.
If you feel this is true, exercise some Self-Mastery by simply getting up and doing something. Anything. Move objects in space, randomly if you have to, but take some kind of action. By practice, you learn that it’s by doing, not by endlessly contemplating, that you can cure much of your misery. Over time, the feelings of paralysis that come from fear, begin to subside. Melancholy is replaced by enthusiasm.
Your morale will rise as your sense of well-being soars and you will soon find you are developing Courage (which I will talk about more in next month’s Food for Thought). In the meantime, I’ll leave you with some important advice. If you follow this advice, it will allow your Courage to develop. The advice is this: Do not waste your life focusing on the past. Do not get stuck in the idea that the past determines the future. You live in a dynamic universe that will respond to all your thoughts and feelings.
Regardless of what has happened in the past, you live in a field of all possibilities where nothing is impossible. Your dreams can come true at any moment.