Progress

“In essence, when you practice and develop any skill you transform yourself in the process.  You reveal to yourself new capabilities that were previously latent, that are exposed as you progress.  You develop emotionally.  Your sense of pleasure becomes redefined.  What offers immediate pleasure comes to seem like a distraction, an empty entertainment to help pass the time.  Real pleasure comes from overcoming challenges, feeling confidence in your abilities, gaining fluency in skills, and experiencing the power this brings.  You develop patience.  Boredom no longer signals the need for distraction, but rather the need for new challenges to conquer.” ~ Robert Greene, Mastery

“There is no magic to awesome outcomes.  Whether we’re looking to build a great career, a great relationship, great health, or a great life, it’s all about consistent action over time.  It’s about coming back after things blow up, over and over and over.  Because they will, and we’ll need a way to reclaim our daily routine.” ~ Jonathan Fields, How To Live A Good Life

“Our culture is so focused on progress that we frequently don’t experience our own lives just as they are here and now.  But the world will always be exactly as it is in each moment.  It’s astonishing how much time and energy we expend in trying to deny this simple fact.  This doesn’t imply passivity.  Our visions and ideals are also part of this moment.  Everything changes, no matter how slowly, and we can act to alleviate suffering.  Yet if plans for the future are not balanced with acceptance and joy in this moment, just as it is, our lives go unlived.  The challenge is to work with our lives as they are rather than imagine that things are different.  If we can learn to soften our aversions and desires, our lives might become less frantic and more spacious.” ~ Robert Kull, Solitude

 

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