There are times in our lives when we see the need to learn things, there are times we accept our shortcomings, have an open attitude and make efforts to improve. For most of us, this time is only in our growing years(how apt a term, growing years… you can’t be growing when you have stopped learning!).
For the rest of our lives, we like the comfort of believing we are right. Accepting a mistake, accepting that we need to improve at something, becomes very difficult, especially if we have to do this in front of others. It feels like accepting defeat, demeaning ourselves.
Once in a rare while, a few of us may show the grit to accept our fault. Once we are past that threshold, all the beauty is let loose on us. We instantly feel light and alive. The tiring struggle of refusing to accept our shortcoming, even when it stares us right in the face, is gone. We no longer have to be on alert all the time, to hide our shortcoming from others. All our attention and effort moves to more creative things, to improving ourselves. We become more aware of opportunities and make progress in leaps and bounds. Life feels like it could not be better than this. It’s almost like recovering from a bad illness, you feel renewed and full of energy, everything seems possible!
Slowly, as you improve and get used to the better you, the feeling that ‘I can not be wrong’ starts creeping back in. You resist accepting faults and the discomfort that growth requires. It may take a long time before you get around to experience this feeling again. For some, it may never return.
Is there no way we can change this? Is their no way we can feel alive always, or at least more often? I think there is. You can have a life of perpetual growth and liveliness. It requires you to make a few conscious decisions and live by them.
1. Forego security. Growth and security don’t go together. The more you try to follow growth, the more you will have to leave the craving for security behind. Once you do, you leave behind a lot of extra baggage that was being a drag on you. You are now free, your senses are alert, you are totally alive and receptive to learning.
When you have learned and gained something, it is OK to rest for a while. Enjoy your achievement, revel in the successes you have had. But don’t try to hold on to it. When the joy starts ebbing, it’s time to move on.
2. Learn to laugh at yourself. Practice humility and take yourself less seriously. Learn to laugh at your mistakes. When you do, accepting your shortcomings becomes a piece of cake. Also, people will find it easy to forgive you for any wrong you may have done to them. This does not mean you belittle yourself, it means you take failure in your stride, you are ready to go on in spite of failures.
3. Listen to your Inner Guide. I said it’s OK to revel in your successes for a while. But how do you know it’s time to move on?.. You know it when your Inner Guide tells you so. The Inner Guide always urges you towards growth and excitement, to try new things, to go on adventures. The Ego pulls you towards safety and the known. Allow your Inner Voice to express itself, look for what excites you. If enjoying your current state feels exciting, stay. If your heart is craving for an adventure, move on!
4. Question what motivates your decisions. When ever you are making an important decision, ask yourself whether your choice is dominated by fear and ego, or by excitement and an urge to learn and grow. Sometimes, reason and logic can make things very clear.
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Until next time.