Thursday, October 1, 2009

Self Improvement

As I look back over the years I see the various paths I have walked to get to where I am today. The number of things I have learnt, done, and achieved make me smile. These worldly achievements are worth nothing at this moment. All that matters now is the now. This moment is unaffected by my past and exists independent of all other moments. My experiences are worth something only if they have taken me towards my true purpose. Anything I have done that took me away from my purpose was a waste of time.

I remember looking at those who were unable to multitask and taking pride in the fact that I could. Multitasking wasted many moments of my life since being a hundred percent present in any moment was impossible. All that multitasking helped me achieve was a stressful lifestyle. All the work related positions I held brought me 'success' in the physical, material realm. I made good money, was able to buy many things, developed a great reputation as a good worker, made many friends, traveled and enjoyed a 'good life.' Somewhere in the process of being 'successful' though I forgot my true essence. I was on a path of growth and improvement in the so called real world. This dream world is full of bells and whistles and very little else. Growth and improvement in this world was the sure shot way I chose to lose myself.

The only improvement that is worth anything at this moment is my spiritual one. The one that has opened my eyes to recognizing that all of these achievements, possessions and successes are not the real purpose of being here in this physical form. These experiences only caused me to spiral downwards and away from my spirit. I wasted my time. I would have been better served if I had established my spiritual identity and then gone out into the world. Then I would have catapulted my way up into self realization - the true essence of self improvement.

Since I had not established my spiritual identity I got distracted by the materialistic world that lies all around. The true meaning of wealth became about having money in the bank and about being able to buy things for my pleasure. Many years ago I knew a person who said that only mean minded people had bank accounts. I looked upon this person as a fool - the joke was really on me. Here was a man who spent his life serving others with every penny that he earned. He was always smiling even towards the end of his life when he had not a penny to his name and was unable to feed his family. His family survived through it all. The stress was felt more by those who judged him than by the man himself. He lived every moment as it came. Then one day he died. He came with nothing, left with nothing leaving nothing behind. His legacy is the love with which all whose lives he touched remember him. It is no less powerful than the legacy a millionaire leaves behind for his future generations to enjoy. When we leave, what is left behind is the spirit with which we served our body, mind, intellect and others.

Name and fame is about being recognized, being popular, and being liked by people whose opinions are really worth nothing. What is really important is about liking myself. It is essential that I have a clear conscience knowing that I have lived a giving, serving, loving life. Whether or not others believe I am good does not change my inherent goodness. When I take the high road to spiritual improvement I have to be able to do so with compassion, unconditional love, and free from guilt about the path I have taken to get to this road. The earlier I establish my spiritual identity the easier this becomes.

Everything I do in the outside world is about functioning within the norms that society has put in place. This is the world of duality where good and bad are completely subjective. What may be good to some is bad to some others. It is therefore essential that I live my life by my own judgment alone. When decisions are made from the depth of my own spirit my confidence is at its peak. Decisions made based on what others think will have some good elements and some poor ones - based on who is judging it. This will invariably shake my confidence. Self confidence and self esteem can only be established when I am true to my inner essence. Unless I know this essence I cannot be true to it.

Meditation that takes me on an inward journey is the only self improvement that I need to consciously work on. All other improvements will follow from this one. It is the foundation on which I can build character and so move forward loving myself every moment. God is not inside me or out there - God is who I am. Perfection is about recognizing this God.

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