Embracing Mystery not Mastery

Here’s some tips on how to embrace the mystery of life and access your true value.

Most people are focused on achieving. We’re recognized and rewarded for what we do rather than how we behave. In The Road to Character David Brooks calls Western culture “the Big Me,” a social fabric and mindset obsessed with external success and labels. For example, I am a teacher, entrepreneur, business person, martial arts fighter and all-round awesome, good-looking, fit guy. My wife is also extremely hot. <wink> We want to be the best, be on top, be number one, own it all. Mine!

But have you noticed that “rèsumè virtues” (wealth, fame, status, job) rarely show up at funerals? Author David Brooks calls “eulogy virtues” – kindness, bravery, honesty, faithfulness – traits that shape the core of our being. How we treat ourselves and others shows people Who We Are , no matter the kind of car we drive, how big (or small) our home, how fancy the funeral.

Want to judge how well you’re really doing in life? Look at the state of your relationships. How connected are you to yourself, your spirit, your family, your friends, your community, your country, your world? How much joy and kindness are in your life? Just like in kindergarten: how good are you at sharing your toys, playing nice, saying sorry, making friends, laughing until your belly hurts?

If you are not what you do, then who are you? This is a deep philosophical question that has been asked by men and women for centuries.

When you want to master life, ignore what most people do. Don’t bother looking to your résumé virtues. Embrace the mystery of life and love and access your true value – virtues like joy, peace, kindness, compassion, belonging. Remember to honor the benevolent Qi within you and around you. When you show Who You Really Are, guess what happens?

You inspire the rest of us to embrace a universe as vast, loving and mysterious as you.

-Chris & Parisa Shelton

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