Will power, Self Discipline, and Drive.
Our power to act in this world, to make decisions and see them into being, is one of the greatest gifts of being human.
This power to materialize our dreams and desires is a skill that can be cultivated by choice, and there are nearly infinite ways to go about it.
But even before we begin to take action towards our goal or the formulation of our practice I believe its vital to analyze the origin of that desire. The seed of our motive and origin of our action will ultimately determine your result.
Fear and love are both powerful motivators but only one of them will endure through the inevitable challenges of change and come to bare righteous fruit. Your reason, your why, Is the most important element that needs to be brought to light.
Plant a seed of loving in tension and water it with the practice of appreciation.
I am finding in my own practice that Appreciation is quite possibly the Valuable practice there is.
We can start a diet because were tired of being fat and feeling ugly, or we can study nutrition because we’re grateful to have such an amazing instrument and love learning how to support and cultivate the gift that it is. Which motive do you thing will endure the months and years it takes to really succeed in becoming fit? The Loving Action. Same direction, different result because your running on a different fuel.
Cultivating the clarity of mind necessary to even be aware of the subtle seed of your motive takes time.
Meditation and concentration are KEY to developing the awareness required for this.
I believe the practice of appreciation is a most valuable entry point into the practice of concentration and meditation.
The topic not only helps to strengthen ones focus but cultivates feelings of joy and initiates a state that will support all other practices that follow. In fact ultimately the more we learn to appreciate what we love the more will, drive, and self control we will have to pursue our goal. Why?
Its a matter of value.
The metaphor of money works quite nicely.
Financially speaking when something appreciates it increases in value.
When we invest our energy into something by “paying” attention to it we are announcing to life “this is valuable”.
It should go without saying, dont invest in something you dont want more of, but most people are unaware that thought and attention are investments of energy. Fuel the growth of the idea held in mind wether you like it not.
When we become more intelligent with our "spending" and focus our minds on all of the gifts we have to be grateful for we rapidly become aware of how wealthy we are. This feeling and acknowledgment of wealth enables a state of mind that says “I am wealth”, and guess what, the rich get richer.
Appreciation creates more to appreciate in a fantastically fortunate feedback loop.
With this perspective, anytime you find you are upset, angry or depressed its simply a reminder that you have wondered off and your mind started making poor investments again. Over time with daily practice you will reroute your habitual thought patterns and your mind will follow ideal lines even in your absence. With practice you cultivate the attribute of optimism and the ability to find gold no matter how dark the days may seem. I believe this mindset and character is the source of the seemingly limitless resolve and discipline of those who have broken the mold and expanded the idea of what is possible. They simply Loved more.
I recommend that appreciation lay at the foundation of daily practice. Every morning when you wake up, spend time thinking, writing, or speaking aloud those things you love and appreciate. Leave reminders or symbols of gratitude in the spaces you frequent.
For the love of life and the joy of cultivating the Good, God bless!