I recently finished reading “The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari.” It cost me fifty cents and had a catchy title. The book describes a successful lawyer, who, despite his power and wealth, remains dissatisfied. After a heart attack, he leaves his practice, goes to India, and joins a group of monks. After about three years, he returns to the US, meets his former partner, and bestows his newfound wisdom. The book itself isn’t too brilliant. I really didn’t like John (the ex-partner/student), he was only there to be the audience and tell bad jokes.
However, there were many wise teachings printed on those pages. One of which is to live in the Now by mastering one’s mind. You are what you think, so it behooves you to eradicate negative thoughts and cultivate positive empowering notions. By ridding yourself of anxious thoughts about the uncertain future and toxic remembrances of the past, you’ll be able to live in the Now, which is the only time we have some control over anyway. There’s no sense in getting bogged down with anything else.
Another principle is to discover and follow your purpose. Each of us has a unique skill set to use. The purpose of life is a life of purpose. The text says that the quality of our lives comes down to the quality of our contributions. I need to give myself to others and contribute in a meaningful way. This can take many forms, but an outward focus is crucial. I am a selfish person, so this will take some effort. Once you determine your specific path, throw all of your energy into progressing that goal.
The last concept I’ll mention here is that of Kaizen. It’s a Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement, usually applied in business or manufacturing logistics. It reminds me of a quote from Alice in Wonderland (taken wildly out of context.)
I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.
Through self-discipline, willpower, and time management, we can make small adjustments and significant changes. This will allow us to focus on following our purpose and fulfilling our destiny.