This pearl of wisdom above perfectly complements a recent thought of the day (Read More: Aug 21st: 2015 Thought of the Day). It is essential to pursue mastery of a task and attain excellence. Yet this journey must be traveled with the appropriate perspective.
We are all going to die. Our bodies will turn to dust. Even the most venerable and accomplished humans will be forgotten. Therefore nothing in this world has absolute importance, just relative importance.
This may seem like a depressing realization. On the contrary I would posit it is extremely liberating and energizing. Their is nothing that you can lose because the only things you have are: control of are your thoughts and actions. No one can take these from you.
However, do not get me wrong this does not mean that you reject the world. You can still enjoy earthly pleasures. The key is to not get attached or personally identified with anything external. What matters is your character and actions. The ironic thing is the less you are personally identified with the results the better you do.
When have you performed your best in your sport? I remember discussing this with my college coach, Robyne Johnson, and we both found it surprising that our best performances occurred when it felt like we were not trying. The jumps in which we “tried” really hard and thought were great ended up being mediocre. To perform your best you need to cultivate a detachment from the results, and intense focus on the present moment.
How do you cultivate this? Leverage the power of simplicity. For the vast majority people, they live in excess. Eat too much, sleep too much, and watch too much TV. The cravings for stimulation in excess of what our body truly needs is caused by our egos need to build itself up. The reason pain is associated with living the virtue of austerity is that people have become personally identified with all the material objects they posses.
Challenge yourself on a daily basis to strip away the unnecessary things you own. A great way to get started is to look in your closet. How much of your closet contains clothes you have not worn in months or even years?
I came to this realization when I moved back home from Boston after finishing my undergrad. I did NOT realize how many clothes I had! I knew that I needed to donate a significant portion of my clothes.
While I was putting clothes away in the garbage bags to donate, I felt a tinge of pain. It felt as if I was losing a part of me. But then I allowed the pain to be there and became present. I realized the “pain” was an outgrowth of my ego that is always wanting more. They are plenty of people that are in dire need of clothes. I had plenty of clothes that were just collecting dust. It would be much better if someone else was able to wear them.
Once I was able to detach my sense of self from the clothes I owned, I felt absolutely liberated and thrilled. I was starting to break away the chains of slavery laid on me by materialism and allow others to enjoy what I had no need for If you begin to make a conscious effort to simplify your life, you will live a joy-filled life.
Be Happy and Chase your Dreams,
PS Here are a couple of ways to connect with me if you have any questions or have any specific topics you would like me to address.