Archives for March 2010

Self Motivation: Pushing Through Despite Discouragement

Often in life, we get discouraged because we feel overwhelmed, we compare ourselves with others negatively, or we see how apparently far away the goal is compared to where we are right now.

However, it is important to remember that this is just one way to look at the situation. In a real sense, it is a choice we make. We can equally well choose to look at things differently.

For instance, it is important to remember that despite what you may have been taught at school or by parents, life is not a race and there is no need to compete in literally everything you do. Hence, if you are trying to achieve something and others seem so far advanced, or started later than you did and made faster progress, that is okay. Let it be that way. You have no way of knowing their specific background and what hidden advantages they may have that you lack. Do not simply assume that it is down to their natural talent or superiority. Rather, you might choose to take it as a sign of encouragement, showing you what is possible if you exert yourself some more. Avoid jealousy at the success of others but rather wish them well because this attitude is conducive to you succeeding too.

Try always to look back and celebrate how far you have come rather than always looking ahead at how far there is yet to travel, or how much you still have left to do. This approach is critical because it trains your mind to think well of itself and of the achievements you have already accomplished. A very useful practice in this respect is to make a list of all the things you have achieved in your life and then review the list regularly.

If you feel overwhelmed by the amount you have to do, then there are many ways to look at this. Perhaps you really are taking on too much, and need to reduce the overall number of projects in your life. Sometimes less is more. You cannot do a great job at too many things all by yourself, but you CAN be outstanding at just a few well chosen goals.

Alternatively, maybe your time/project management needs improving? There are many good books and courses that you could study to greatly improve your use of your time and how you actually manage projects. If that is the issue, then invest some time and effort in this approach.

If you already have the right number of projects and have implemented good time/project management skills, then maybe what you really need is to take a break. Consider how much time off you take. Perhaps you are on the go too often and are trying to do too many different things simultaneously. You might just need a vacation, or maybe even just the afternoon off!

In summary, no matter what your specific reason for being discouraged is, it all ultimately boils down to how you choose to view the situation. Often, the chief benefit of taking a break and looking at the matter objectively is that you gain a huge objectivity that you simply cannot possess when you are immersed in the mire of your work.

Try to remember that you always have a choice. As a consequence, when you feel down on yourself, take a break, review the situation and then come up with new strategies, both mentally as well as in the physical realm, to enable you to come out on top again.

Copyright 2010. Asoka Selvarajah . All Right Reserved.

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The Buddha Says…

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. Do not believe in anything because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders.

But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything that agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all then accept it and live up to it.

This is a wonderful truth that is well worth pondering on throughout one’s life. It is very applicable to all areas of our lives, and not just the spiritual. I think the Buddha is almost certainly unique in telling us not to believe what he says simply because he said it, or because some dusty old scripture says so, but to prove it in our own experience. It would be wonderful if more spiritual traditions in the world were as open-hearted as this.

Asoka Selvarajah

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