I heard an interesting comment this week. The person stated that success is having achieved that which you determine to do. Now, that sounds like a wonderful thing- achieving your goals! But is it really a definition of success? For me, success is being who I am. Whether I achieve my goals or not, if I travel life with authenticity, by being the best Laura I can be, I have succeeded. It's the manner of the journey, not the destination that determines success. It really doesn't matter if you win or lose, it is how you play the game of life that determines your level of mastery.
When we define ourselves as unsuccessful, because perhaps we have fallen short of meeting our goals, we invalidate the process we went through working toward the goal. When you are authentic to yourself, you will choose goals that are in alignment with who you are. This enables you to create for the experience of creating, not just for the creation at the end. Many Buddhist monks practice this daily as they create intricate sand designs, each one taking much time and attention. The end result is a beautiful sand mandala, but each one is slowly blown away with the wind as the day progresses. They create not for the sake of the temporary creation. They create for the opportunity to experience creating. The fact that their elaborate sand design will only last a few hours reminds them that the focus of life should not be on external creations, but on inner awareness. All creations will deteriorate over time. All experiences will be forever. This is why living life with awareness, authenticity, and joy is more important than winning or losing.
I play the game of life with awareness and integrity, therefore I win every day. How do you play the game?
Laura Barrette Shannon