Integrity (Honest)Joy, Peace, Freedom
Desiring (Wanting) • (Allowing) Desire-less
Become an astute observer
Just be • Flawless
Termination/Terminate quarrel or major dispute.
Rather than reacting with old patterns of residual anger, revenge and hurt. Visualize offering.
Embrace "true virtue"
The more I talk to people about their struggles, the more I realize that we all have some sense of dissatisfaction with ourselves.
I have it, and I’d be willing to bet everyone reading this does too. Consider some of the ways we’re dissatisfied with ourselves:
It affects our lives in so many ways: we might not be good at making friends, speaking in public or in a group, finding a partner, doing the work we’re passionate about, finding contentment with ourselves and our lives.
And we don’t like feeling this way, so we run. We find distraction, comfort in food or alcohol or drugs or shopping, lash out at other people when we’re feeling defensive about ourselves. It’s at the heart of nearly all of our problems.
So how do we deal with this underlying problem? The answer is profoundly simple, yet not easy.
Before I go into dealing with the problem, we should discuss something first — the idea that we need to be dissatisfied with ourselves to make life improvements.
Unhappiness with Self as a MotivatorI used to think, as many people do, that if we’re unhappy with ourselves, we’ll be driven to get better. And if we were all of a sudden content with ourselves, we’d stop doing anything.
I no longer believe this. I do think we’re often driven to make improvements because we’re dissatisfied with ourselves, and that’s not a bad thing. We have hope for something better.
You can exercise and eat healthy not because you dislike your body and want to make it better … but because you love yourself and want to inspire your family. You can do work out of love for the people it will help. You can declutter, get out of debt, read more, and meditate not because you’re dissatisfied with yourself … but because you love yourself and others.
In fact, I would argue that you’re more likely to do all of those things if you love yourself, and less likely if you dislike yourself.
Dealing with DissatisfactionWhat can we do about our continual dissatisfaction with ourselves? How do we deal with self-doubt, feeling like we’re not good enough, unhappiness with certain parts of ourselves?
It turns out that these feelings are perfect opportunities — to learn about ourselves and how to be friends with ourselves.
I recommend that you practice this each time you notice self-criticism, self-doubt, unhappiness with yourself, harshness towards what you see in yourself. It only has to take a minute, as you face what you feel and stay with it, with unconditional friendliness.
If you really want to focus on this powerful change, reflect on it once a day by journaling at the end of the day, reviewing how you did and what you can do to remember to practice.
In the end, I think you’ll find that love is a more powerful motivator than unhappiness with yourself. And I hope you’ll find a friendship with yourself that will radiate out into your relationships with everyone else you know and meet.
I know a lot of people who fall into a slump, losing the habit of exercise, procrastinating with work, slipping into a bad diet, and generally not feeling motivated.
It’s hard to get out of a slump like that.
It’s hard to get going again, to get started when all the forces of inertia are against you.
Here’s how to get started, in just a few easy steps.
It’s my belief that a flexible mind helps us to deal with chaos, loss, big life changes, small frustrations, and all that life throws our way.
A flexible mind leads to more peace. You’re not as stuck in your ways, and can adapt to change. You don’t always think you’re right but are curious about other people. You can take on new challenges with a smile.
I don’t always have such a flexible mind, to be honest. I’m working on it.
When I’m not flexible, I can feel it: my mind starts to feel rigid, I feel frustration, irritation, anger, disappointment. There’s a feeling of not wanting things to be the way they are, feeling of being wronged, attacked. It’s the result of being caught up in whatever story you’re telling yourself.
So here’s what I’ve been working on, to develop a more flexible mind:
That’s what I’m working with, imperfectly and forgetfully, and I find it helpful.
I think we’ve all been there: we’ve signed up for the gym, signed up for a class, bought an ebook … and then not used it.
We’ve had hopes of learning to draw, to program, to play a musical instrument … and then promptly failed to do so.
We’ve had the best intentions for a project (maybe starting a blog or writing a book). We’ve had the best intentions for our day, to be productive and kick some butt.
And then our plans fall apart. We fail to live up to our hopes.
Why is this? What’s wrong with us?
In my experience, there are a few key obstacles:
So what can we do? It turns out there are a few key habits we can form to help with these problems, and some of them are going to seem obvious now that we’ve identified the causes.
Solutions to Key ObtaclesIf you want to actually put that class or gym pass to use, if you want to get that personal project done or read that ebook you bought … here are some suggestions that I’ve found to be powerful in actually doing what I hope to do: