Today is my birthday and I say to myself – Brian, you’ve been doing your reading and your journaling. You’re trying to be conscious of your thoughts and your actions. In short, you’re putting in the work.
The question I struggle with is – How do you know if it’s working?
As my mentor would say, the journey to becoming “reborn, a sage, enlighted” is one that takes a lifetime. No one hands you a certificate. Wisdom accumulates and builds on itself until one day, well, there you are.
So Brian, if that feels a little too inexact, let us empathize – but such is life.
Still, there has to be something I can look for to see whether I’m making progress. Whether I’m getting better as opposed to simply feeling better (or more dangerously, feeling self-satisfied?)
According to the lessons I’ve learned, these are signs that someone is making progress:
- criticizing nobody
- praising nobody
- blaming nobody
- accusing nobody
- saying nothing about yourself to indicate being someone or knowing something
- when frustrated or impeded, you blame yourself
- if complimented, you laugh
- if criticized, you ignore
- relaxed in motivation
- banishing harmful desire
- you watch yourself as though you were an enemy plotting an attack
If you’re really doing the work, you will see yourself improve in these areas. Not all the time and certainly not in all of them all at once.
But in time, you will blame others less, ignore criticism more readily (and ignore levelling it at others). You will be humbler and desire less. You will take responsibility.
You will examine yourself. That’s progress.
The question for you today on your birthday Brian is: Are you making any?
Happy Birthday to all my Sagittarian friends.
By Brian Nadon