5 Steps to Taking Control of Our Lives
- Practice Kaizen. This is the Japanese word, which means “constant and never ending improvement”, It is a requisite of somebody who wants to live an “awakened” life. Success is an inside job, meaning that it begins on the inside; in order to benefit from external or material things, the inside has to be taken care of first. The most effective way to do this is through the practice of continual self-improvement.If we master ourselves then we master our life, or at least our perception. Ignorance is equated with weakness in modern western society. In ancient Japanese society it was equated with evil; wisdom was its opposite and only through wisdom, could ignorance be defeated. Change is something that many people fear, but the wise embrace it, as it provides fertile ground for new concepts and thus more learning. Zen speaks of the beginner’s mind; those whose cups are empty will move to higher levels of achievement and fulfillment as they are providing the Universe with a vessel to fill. To work on the spirit and to develop faith means that fears can be overcome and with that, nothing can stop we from succeeding in anything that we do. The law of abundance states that stale patterns and deep rooted fears will prevent the richness coming our way which is everyone’s birthright.
- Master the Self, Become Master of Our Life. Daily exercise, a healthful diet and a balanced lifestyle are all important attributes of a successful life, but more important than any of these are strength of character; developing mental toughness and living with courage. These three things will lead not only to a virtuous life, but one filled with achievement, satisfaction and inner peace. Courage is a quality that anyone can develop and which will pay huge dividends in the long run. Courage allows independence. It allows freedom from the restriction of others and the freedom to choose to do what is right. It is a key element in self-control and allows we to persist where others have failed. Courage is a self-building form of energy; the more we develop, the more the rewards will manifest in order to grow more courageous. With that comes fulfillment and the realization of all the exquisite wonders of the epic which is our life. Those who master themselves have an abundance of courage.
- Inside Job. New Age concepts can trigger the image of sanctimony and alfalfa sprouts. Just like many other things, the purity of purpose and vision has been given a label by the ego-bound and rendered immediately unattractive to those whose hesitation has got the better of them. Belief and labeling is an ego based conceptualization designed for our comfort; it is my belief that we try and reformulate our perception in order to make it acceptable to us or so that we can package it in a form which is pleasant and/or comfortable. This is the subtlety of ego: even when we are looking to be free of the King Baby, he/she tries to administer to us in what form we allow this to happen.
- Consistent Cultivation of Body and Soul This brings with it Enlightenment. Pleasure is temporary. The craving of pleasure is deluding and simply an expression of the ego in its search for comfort to banish all fear. Where so much energy is used to seek and find pleasure, this could be transmuted into the search for joy, which lies within. The search for pleasure is a treadmill and the results speak for themselves; it provides misery as once the sensations of pleasure are gone, there is an emptiness, which needs to be filled once again. The search for pleasure begins to take priority, and without it we begin to feel incomplete or somewhat lacking.
- Discipline and Confrontation of the Self. Those who have found enlightenment find joy in life, and joy springs from abundance of which there is an indefinite supply. Putting off short term pleasure for long term fulfillment is a habit which anybody can create. By tackling weaknesses and fears head one, by overcoming temporary discomfort, one builds strength, which, if balanced by compassion and charity (love borne of sympathy) can change ones perception one hundred percent and can also change the world. Long reaching happiness, peace of mind, limitless energy and perfect health are just a few of the side benefits of this achievement, but truth is the greatest element of all which can only be understood by each individual as he/she experiences it. It can be recognized in others but seldom taught.