Innovators and creators are persons who can to a higher degree than average accept the condition of aloneness. They are more willing to follow their own vision, even when it takes them far from the mainland of the human community. Unexplored places do not frighten them- or not, at any rate, as much as they frighten those around them. This is one of the secrets of their power. That which we call genius has a great deal to do with courage and daring, a great deal to do with nerve.
Whether your focus is on preserving and strengthening family ties in a world of increasingly unstable relationships, gaining access to a decent job, growing and evolving as a person, or guiding a company through the stormy seas of a fiercely competitive global marketplace-whether your goals are material, emotional, or spiritual-the price of success is the same: thinking, learning. To be asleep at the wheel-to rely only on the known, familiar, and automatized-is to invite disaster.
How do we keep our inner fire alive? Two things, at minimum, are needed: an ability to appreciate the positives in our life – and a commitment to action. Every day, it's important to ask and answer these questions: ‘What's good in my life?’ and ‘What needs to be done?
The natural inclination of a child is to take pleasure in the use of the mind no less than of the body. The child's primary business is learning. It is also the primary entertainment. To retain that orientation into adulthood, so that consciousness is not a burden but a joy, is the mark of the successfully developed human being.
It is a mistake to look at someone who is self assertive and say, "It's easy for her, she has good self-esteem." One of the ways you build self-esteem is by being self-assertive when it is not easy to do so. There are always times when self-assertiven ess requires courage, no matter how high your self-esteem.
You are not likely to bring out the best in people or nurture their creativity if every time you hear about their problems you instantly offer a solution Encourage people to look for their own solutions-and project the knowledge that they are capable of doing so.
If you do not feel deserving of happiness, consciously or subconsciously, or if you have accepted the idea that happiness is somehow wrong or cannot last, you will not respond appropriately when happiness comes knocking at your door in the form of romantic love. No matter how much you may have waited and cried, you will not welcome love when it arrives-you will find a way to sabotage it. What a challenge to resist this temptation! What an opportunity for true spiritual growth and transformation-to defy your negative feelings and honor the gift that life offers you!
It is generally recognized that creativity requires leisure, an absence of rush, time for the mind and imagination to float and wander and roam, time for the individual to descend into the depths of his or her psyche, to be available to barely audible signals rustling for attention. Long periods of time may pass in which nothing seems to be happening. But we know that kind of space must be created if the mind is to leap out of its accustomed ruts, to part from the mechanical, the known, the familiar, the standard, and generate a leap into the new.
Stressing the practice of living purposefully as essential to fully realized self-esteem is not equivalent to measuring an individual's worth by his or her external achievements. We admire achievements-in ourselves and others-and it is natural and appropriate for us to do so. But that is not the same thing as saying that our achievements are the measure or grounds of our self-esteem. The root of our self-esteem is not our achievements but those internally generated practices that, among other things, make it possible for us to achieve.
You can be loved by your family, your mate, and your friends yet not love yourself. You can be admired by your associates yet regard yourself as worthless. You can project an image of assurance and poise that fools almost everyone yet secretly tremble with a sense of inadequacy. You can fulfill the expectations of others yet fail your own. You can win every honor yet feel that you have accomplished nothing. What shall it profit a person to gain the esteem of the whole world yet lose his or her own?
The music that inspires the souls of lovers exists within themselves and the private universe they occupy. They share it with each other; they do not share it with the tribe or with society. The courage to hear that music and to honor it is one of the prerequisites of romantic love.