“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough”. – Oprah Winfrey
In the last “Monday Motivation” article, I shared my take on Oprah Winfrey’s beautifully written book What I know for sure. Going through it again this week, one specific phrase really amazed me and seemed to be echoing just perfectly with what I was living at the moment. If you’re not a yoga practitioner, you might not know that after a class, for the final five minutes, we’re lying on our mats, in Savasana (aka. The Body Pose), eyes closed, feeling all the emotions and sensations that are going through our bodies. This is the perfect time for the teacher to share something personal but yet universally recognised, some philosophical thoughts or even an emotional and heartfelt story. What our teacher told us a few days ago is so true and yet so hard to apply on a day-to-day basis: “Focus on what you’re doing well, on what you’re proud of, and life will suddenly become better and happier; regrets and frustration only are burden for the soul and the heart”.
In today’s society, we, human beings, are being asked for quite a lot; indeed, there are so many demands and requirements, for whatever one tries to do or think, whether this thing is emotional, physical or mental. Reaching these levels and sometimes keeping the pace with them become almost impossible, being a constant inner-fight for everybody. Therefore, we all end up sad, disappointed, frustrated, anxious and angry, because we did not entirely fulfilled our or other’s expectancies. The consumerism, facility of living in our part of the world and the reality of things do not really help for that matter… But if we were all forgetting about these standards, all trying to focus on what we did beautifully, instead of seeing what was bad and incomplete, I guess there would be more smiles than poker faces on the streets and more colours in tomorrow’s world than the one we are living in today.
What’s more, whenever we’re doing something, meaning talking to someone new, passing an exam, achieving something we were anxious about, etc. what usually stick in our minds are the things we have not said, the skills we have not shown, the parts we totally missed and so on. And this is a tendency that lives within everybody’s mind, even yogis. For example, I bet that most of us, yoga practitioner, if we let ourselves go, think about what postures we have not done correctly, why were we not in the best shape while practicing, why were our bodies not that beautiful in the mirror… And this is truly saddening. All of this is well aligned with the saying “seeing the glass half-empty instead of seeing it half full. Next time that you are achieving something new or a thing you were nervous about, think about what you really did, the points you completed, the skills you showed, the words you said, and magically, little by little, the deception, frustration and anxiety will fly away.
Last but not least, let’s talk philosophically a little. I guess this is very hard for the heart and soul, to be filled with bitterness, regrets and anger all the time. Never being fully satisfied of ourselves, others or our accomplishments, as if something was always missing, leaves us truly unhappy…but what’s the point of living if one cannot really appreciate what one lives ? I strongly believe this is closely related to what I call “the rush for perfection”. I used to rush for this one all the time…wonder why I ended up having eating disorders. My point is that nothing never is enough for someone so tough on herself, someone who’s life is aimed at being the best in every single thing she do, someone whose wishes are never truly fulfilled. The “rush for excellency”, on the other hand, is very rewarding and beautiful. Doing the best one can, being aware that some goals will not be achieved, not expecting too much of oneself, always being proud of one’s success, no matter if a few things turned out to be fruitless…these are the thoughts that push someone further in life and enable her to be happier, stronger and more confident about her own value and future.
I challenge you this week…stay positive, be proud of what you’ve done, rush for excellency, not perfection, see what’s good inside you and what does not need to be changed and be self-confident…because we all are beautiful, in our own way!