When being judged, take a vow of silence. Do not waste energy on people that do not care to seek to understand, on people that only care about protecting their own ignorance. Speak when in the company of open minds. There’s fruit on those trees.
Until you’ve mastered the art of non-reaction, choose not to laugh in the face of ignorance and hypocrisy, but rather offer a gentle reflection. It’s far better for you than the alternative. A deep breath and an empathetic smile is superior to frustration and a scowl. Furthermore, the ignorant and the hypocritical will always be aware of your frustration, but too blinded by their own afflictions to notice your pity. You will never be their source of enlightenment. Let the reflection they see be one of stoic kindness.
The longest held beliefs, opinions, judgments, assumptions, hypotheses, and viewpoints combined are no match for the shortest truth.
The extra wants a speaking role. The speaking role wants a bit part. The bit part wants a supporting role. The supporting cast want the lead. It’s the energy we put into what we’re doing now that matters, because the reality is that there will always be higher demand for extras than leads. If we fail to shine as the leads in our own lives, it’s because the spotlight is continually succeeding at lighting our shadows.
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.