The best thing in life to get the better of is the desire to better than the best. That’s an external drive with (at best) only momentary validation. The internal drive to be better than you were yesterday so you can be your best self today is renewed every waking moment. That’s sustainable, even on days when it feels unrealistic. If you can vanquish the desire to be anything more than the best you can be in the moment, you’ve defeated the worlds greatest rival…the Ego.
There’s a quote from the 1998 movie Rounders: “If you can’t spot the sucker in the first half hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker.” The same goes for change: If you don’t see enough change happening around you, that’s a sign for you to initiate the change. Sometimes we need a sucker punch of perspective to get things moving. Don’t ignore the reality that you might be the sucker getting punched by reality.
In every belief there is a lie. Knowing your beliefs are not truths is the foundation of humility, acceptance and perspective.
When we make change with money, we neither get excited nor upset. We don’t feel defeated or victorious. Give a bank teller a $5 bill and ask for quarters, and we’ll receive 20 quarters in return. Although the currency has changed, the amount has stayed the same. This is how change works in life too. In the grand scheme, change is an even swap when acceptance and perspective are applied.
Would you choose to live better if it were part of your job’s scorecard? If your yearly performance evaluation at work also included how well you have been living your life outside of work and not just about how well you’re doing your job, what would you do differently? Now, what’s stopping you?
Sometimes the best preparation and the best odds are beaten. Not by a vengeful god, not by a villain, not always even by a better opponent, not by anything other than the way the events transpired. Winning everything, getting everything we want whenever we want it does not the path to happiness make. Never knowing an obstacle is knowing the straightest path to misery.
Every moment is a fight/flight or play dead choice. The wording, intensity and severity will differ: perhaps it’s love/hate or apathy – like/dislike or whatever. In all cases, one doesn’t have time to ponder to the depths of one’s own intelligence or ignorance before deciding. Looking at the world today, it would seem the most intelligent and the most ignorant are aligned in choosing the negative and the indifferent as guiding principles. Love is a fight response. Acceptance is a fight response. Kindness is a fight response. Compassion is a fight response. These are a war ensemble.