A Dose of Innocuous Brainwashing
There is nothing new under the sun; you’ve heard it before. But we ought to repeat some things regularly despite the tedium of the process. They’re like reflecting lights that illuminate our way, and our way is one step from the shadow of darkness.
Seek contentment, abhor complacency, and don’t be anxious about anything. The most we can expect of our life is a grand virtue, living it with its hardships and joys, accumulating our time without regret and doing our best and accepting the rest. Be honest and true to ourselves and give no ear to our critics, who are less pleased with us than we are with ourselves. Try too hard, and we fall on our backside. Put a squeeze on time, and it slips through our hands. Expect too much, and our best is never enough. Steady as she goes, bombers, and she’ll go a long way, high and far.
Call it perseverance or stubbornness.
Set your goals, ample and wise, and seek them with diligence and might. Be unique, be yourself, imitate no one and be kind to those who follow your ways. Work hard, eat right and be consistent, a simple practice that keeps us untethered—alive and free. Slip not into apathy, ward off lethargy and boldly resist gluttony, the shallow characteristics typical of the masses crowding our path. Don’t compromise standards set high by your spirit, mind and deeds. Clay feet we have, and soiling our neighbor is too easy to do and so hard to recall. Be careful. Be aware. Be grateful. Be emboldened and filled with joy.
Wait until you can wait no more, and wait again. Do what’s right once, twice and three times. If what you do continues to be right, do it 10 times more. The least you’ve done is something right many times and practiced a quality of greatness that eludes us day after day. It goes by many names—a favorite is persistence. Be persistent, always, when doing good is troublesome, when getting to a worthy place is doubtful and precarious and when giving up a wicked way is painful and slippery.
Courage accompanies that admirable quality. You’ve heard of fortitude and marveled. Oh, to have fortitude each morning when the sun rises and each evening when the sun goes down. Nothing wretched before us could endure.
Could be patient, or dull.
Living without constraints and wandering freely are priceless lifestyles with immediate rewards. Looking and seeing, listening and hearing, we learn, imagine, discover, wonder, invent, play and pretend. It’s fun. Yet, without aspirations toward which to direct our steps, we go nowhere and accomplish little. To grow we need a place to go, a purpose to achieve, a target at which to aim.
Aimlessness and wandering take us around and about, backwards and sideways, but they don’t move us forward. They don’t get us ahead. They don’t fulfill our longings. First objective: Keep our eyes on the path. Ultimate objective: Reach our destination.
That one is definitely, without a doubt, goal-seeking, or single-mindedness.
We want something, know what we want and want it badly. Good. This will help us achieve it. Incidentally, we must be certain what we want “badly” is “good.” We don’t want something we ought not to want, like the money in the local 7-Eleven cash register or Bobby’s girl or several pizzas and beers. We have a way of rationalizing our wants and confusing them with our needs. As in everything, be realistic and well-meaning.
Let’s, for example, strive for a strong, well-built body, which is about as good as good gets. Visualize your worthy goal; see, feel, taste, smell and wear that mighty sight as if it were already your own. Put your powerful subconscious to work. I don’t mean get all goofy like a little kid, but close is not a bad idea. Determine the methods required for achieving your goals and implement them with resolve. Know that wavering in your pursuit is foolish, weak and damning to the process.
There’ll be times when we give up, no longer care, get sidetracked, misplace inspiration, lose ambition, get lazy, procrastinate, encounter the blues or fall into a slump. That’s life, either an affliction or a challenge. Afflictions attack the weak and take them down; challenges are moments of truth subject to the strong. Push on, press on; tug, pull and squeeze with all your might. The day is ours, by God, to add to our wealth. Don’t waste it; make the best of it. Smooth its course with repeated treading. Dedication and devotion, they beat like drums.