August 31

Overstraining is the enemy of
accomplishment.  Calm strength that
arises from a deep and inexhaustible
source is what brings success.

Rabindranath Tagore


Today's Meditation:

We see very often that people try to overplay their hands, that they try so hard to do something or control something or somebody because they want others to think that they're super strong.  They're posing.  Many kids in my high school classes are posers in this way.  Someone hurts them and they say they don't care when they really do.  Someone takes something of theirs and they have to threaten the other person with physical violence, just so that others can see that they're "strong."

But real strength doesn't manifest itself in overexertion or threats against others or in being "better" than others.  Real strength is seen in the person who can look at a situation and act truly and authentically, without worrying what others may think of him or her.  Real strength is seeing the situation and determining what is an appropriate response no matter what onlookers may think of it.

One of the strongest people I've ever known never, ever had to prove her strength, and she never talked about how strong she was.  She did the work she needed to do without doing 60-hour weeks, and her work was better than that of others who were killing themselves at her job.  She was confident and she knew what needed to be done and she did it well, without forcing herself to do more.

If we want to be successful, it's important that we keep in mind what Rabindranath has said here.  It's the calm strength that comes from deep inside that helps us to be truly successful, that helps us to accomplish wonderful things.  We may do some things well without that calm strength, but that success is fleeting, and we can't count on it to repeat itself.  The inner strength is the great gift that we can give to the world, for with it we can contribute great successes that are lasting.

Questions to consider:

What's the difference between inner strength and superficial strength?  Whom do you know who has each kind?

Why does inner strength seem to be more rare than superficial strength?

Why do people who depend on superficial strength tend to overstrain so often?

For further thought:

You will succeed best when you put the restless,
anxious side of affairs out of mind, and allow
the restful side to live in your thoughts.

Margaret Stowe

More on success.


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