May 18     

Today's quotation:

We are responsible for what we are, and whatever we wish ourselves to be, we have the power to make ourselves.  If what we are now has been the result of our own past actions, it certainly follows that whatever we wish to be in future can be produced by our present actions; so we have to know how to act.

Swami Vivekananda

Today's Meditation:

If what I am now is a result of past actions, then what I shall be will be a result of my current actions.  This is an incredibly hopeful and positive idea, as long as we can be patient and realize that we all are works in progress, moving towards becoming the people we're meant to be.

Some people think that if they haven't reached their goals by now, they never will.  If they haven't become what they dreamed of becoming, they won't.  But if I want to become a more compassionate person and I make it a point of committing two compassionate acts today, I'll have made a start towards becoming what I want.  If I want to become a manager, then I can read an article on leadership today.  If I want to become a novelist, then I can write one or two pages today, and I'll have a start.

Sometimes we don't act because we're afraid, and sometimes we don't act because we've given up.  It's hard sometimes to act towards a certain goal when we don't hold hope of success in our hearts.  But the rest of our life starts right now, and what actions will you contribute to making the rest of your life what you want it to be?

Nobody will make me a novelist or a more compassionate person.  It's up to me, as is just about everything in my life.  I can start today by committing just one simple act that will be one small step towards reaching my goals, and then I'll know that I'm working towards shaping the person I'm to become in positive and loving ways.

Questions to consider:

What kinds of obstacles keep us from acting sometimes?

What kinds of actions on your part in your past have contributed towards making you the person you are today?

What does it mean to say "We are responsible for what we are"?

For further thought: 

You can clear the land, plow the field, spread the fertilizer, and plant the corn.  But you cannot make it rain.  You cannot prevent an early frost.  You cannot determine exactly what will happen in your life.  The rain may or may not fall, but one thing is certain:  you will get a harvest only if you planted something in the field.  It's important to do everything in our power to ensure our success, but we also need to let the universe take its course.

Melody Beattie

more thoughts and ideas on action



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