” Excellence is an art won by training and habituation.
We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but rather we have those because we have acted rightly.
We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”- Aristotle
A change is as good as a rest.
Whether this change is as major as a change of employment or as minor as a leisure pursuit which occupies your entire attention for an hour three
times a week, these changes in routine, and mindset are entirely totally engaging which requires deep concentration so that your mind is free from the
mundane but seemingly important aspects of your day.
Many executives are becoming involved in the martial arts for just this reason.
If your mind wanders for even a split second, a harsh lesson is soon learned.
Pain is a great motivator and always will be.
Contrary to popular opinion, stress is not a bad thing.
It allows us to perform at peak levels and can assist us through the flood of chemicals it releases within our bodies.
What is harmful is too much stress, or more particularly, a lack of relief from stress.
The times of stress must be balanced nicely with times of pure relaxion and leisure for us to be healthy and at our best.
Many of the great leaders of our time were exposed to crushing workloads and the burdens of high office.
But they prospered by developing strategies to balance the challenging times with fun and calming times.
President Kennedy would have regular naps in his White House office.
Winston Churchill had the same practice and slept for one hour every afternoon to stay alert, focused and calm.
Not only is it essential to be physically relaxed to maintain optimal health but one must couple this trait with mental serenity.
Too often people think that vigorous exercise, good nutrition and pleasant leisure activities will be the panacea for all ills.
These pursuits must be combined with positive thinking and peace of mind for true happiness and longevity.
A contented mind is a continual feast.
Greed and material desires must be curbed to achieve lasting happiness and serenity.
Be happy with what you have.
Place greater importance on saying happy than amassing material possessions.
A zest for life is developed and carefully nurtured through thoughtful activities and pursuits.
Do you really need all of those material possessions? One can develop contentment just as one develops patience, courage and concentration
– with daily practice and sincere desire.
Remember this ancient Indian proverb: “If you conquer your mind, you conquer the world.”
It has been rightly said that “you sow an action, you reap a habit.
You sow a habit, you reap a character.
You sow a character, you reap a destiny.” The essence of a person is his character – make yours unique, unblemished and strong.
Do not say you will do anything unless you will indeed do it.
Speak the truth and measure your words wisely.
Be humble, straightforward and peaceful.
Remember the overriding law of nature: positive overcomes the negative.
Just as valuable energy is wasted by spending time on activities that are of no value, energy can be wasted on loose thinking.
Imagine that your mind has an energy measure of 1000 watts at its disposal.
Each time your mind wanders off the project at hand, to a nagging worry, to all the things to do by the end of the day, 100 watts is lost.
Quite soon the entire energy supply is gone.
This is the nature of the mind.
Fail to discipline it and your energy levels will be depleted and your accomplishments will be minimal.
Control it and you will see great things happening.
You will feel more powerful and achieve difficult tasks with ease.
The 19th century philosopher Henri Frederic Amiel summed it up nicely: “for purposes of action, nothing is more useful than narrowness of thought combined with energy of will.”
Think of three people who can provide you with inspiration, motivation and support for your goals and aspirations.
Plan to meet with each one of them over the next few weeks.
Listen enthusiastically to them and brainstorm with them.
Map out a strategy and take their wise counsel.
Make everyone of your days a true masterpiece.
Remember the old saying: “It’s not who you think you are that holds you back but what you think you’re not.”