Over the long run, however, the real reason you fail to stick with habits is that your self-image gets in the way. This is why you can’t get too attached to one version of your identity. Progress requires unlearning. Becoming the best version of yourself requires you to continuously edit your beliefs, and to upgrade and expand your identity.
–James Clear from Atomic Habits
Try it. Live for one day, one hour, as though you were going to die, actually going to die the next hour.
If you knew you were about to die, what would you do? You would gather your family together, put your money and property in order, and draw up a will. Then, as death approached, you would have to understand all that you had been. If you were merely frightened because you were dying, you would be dying for nothing. But you would not be frightened if you said, ‘I have lived a dull, ambitious, envious, stupid life, and now I am going to wipe all that totally from my memory. I am going to forget the past and live in this hour completely.
If you can live one hour as completely as that, you can live completely for the rest of your life.
But to die is hard work – not to die through disease and old age, that is not hard work at all. That is inevitable, it is what we are all going to do, and you cushion yourself against it in innumerable ways. But if you die so that you are living fully in this hour, you will find there is an enormous vitality, a tremendous attention to everything because this is the only hour you are living.
You look at this spring of life because you will never see it again; you see the smile, the tears, you feel the earth, you feel the quality of a tree, you feel the love that has no continuity and no object. Then you will find that in this total attention the ‘me’ is not, and that the mind, being empty, can renew itself. Then the mind is fresh, innocent, and such a mind lives eternally beyond time.
– J Krishnamurti
(Contributed by Mr Balasunder)
The flow of abundance can get blocked at any one of six steps:
- Clarify your purpose. Have a clear sense of what your life is about and what you value most.
- Look for lessons in your areas of shortage. The aspects of your life where there is a lack exist to teach you something.
- Learn to be grateful for what you do have. Move beyond distorted perceptions and see clearly the parts of your life where you are greatly blessed.
- Give what you can. By joyfully and freely giving, you redefine yourself as someone whose life is abundant.
- Expect and accept the good that comes to you. Be alert to the necessary resources in whatever form they may come—expected or unexpected.
- Giving and receiving – build community. Be open to building or reinforcing interpersonal relations based on mutual care.
Look over the list of six points. Which one of them seems weakest in your life? That is, which one is most in need of further application?
(Contributed by Mr. Maharajah)
– Sufi Story
(Contributed by Mr. Balasunder)
Question: You seem to advise me to be self-centered to the point of egoism. Must I not yield even to my interest in other people?
Maharaj: Your interest in others is egoistic, self-concerned, self-oriented. You are not interested in others as persons, but only as far as they enrich, or enoble your own image of yourself.
And the ultimate in selfishness is to care only for the protection, preservation and multiplication of one’s own body. By body I mean all that is related to your name and shape— your family,
tribe, country, race, etc. To be attached to one’s name and
shape is selfishness.
A man who knows that he is neither body
nor mind cannot be selfish, for he has nothing to be selfish for.
Or, you may say, he is equally ‘selfish’ on behalf of everybody
he meets; everybody’s welfare is his own. The feeling ‘I am the
world, the world is myself’ becomes quite natural; once it is established, there is just no way of being selfish.
To be selfish
means to covet, to acquire, accumulate on behalf of the part
against the whole.
I Am That