Competition with the SELF
I was introduced to Conor McGregor about a month ago through a news article. Days before the ultimate boxing fight debuting in Las Vegas on August 26th I started to watch Youtube videos on his performances and I was completely drawn to his energy. Since the fight I've been slightly obsessed (in a good way) and quite inspired by his attitude towards life and means to success. Why? People are drawn to those who are high achievers and can articulate themselves well. People are drawn to those with a confidence that is not arrogant; that is easily tested with performance outcomes. People are drawn to others that have ambition or goals and are disciplined in their craft enough to meet those goals. I like how Conor speaks about the "Law of Attraction" and visualization techniques as I think these are very important threads to completing goals and manifesting dreams.
About a year ago I went down the path of "Law of Attraction" venturing into Abraham Hicks books and videos. It was encouraging to see an athlete use this technique for competition. I am currently not participating in any races, meets, fights or one-on-one sparring but I do find that every day of my life there is a competition going on with my SELF.
The competition looks a bit like this:
Do what I say I am going to do and keep promises.
This means that I show up on time to my classes, sessions and private yoga and serve my students. This also means that I am going to keep the promise of participating in regular activities that support my health/wellness such as meditation, cardio exercises, walking with nature, eating well and doing my part to help society. If I tell someone I will do something, then I do it. It's kind of a competition because always there is a chance I might not fulfill what I should do because of being tired, imbalanced with blood glucose, not in the mood >> pick an excuse or a reason. While some of these excuses are valid, there is a moment when you CHOOSE the path or action to take. One has to get into the habit of CHOOSING the right path over and over and over again. That's hard!
Competition with self begins with choice. When every day one chooses greatness, you succeed.
Karma. Karma. Karma.
Karma means action.
Trsna (Thirst/Desire) > Karma (Action) > Karmaphala (Fruits of Action)
Desire is a funny thing. I have not chosen the yogic path of meditation in the woods like a true devotee. It has been contemplated though, as I just keep revisiting the idea of cycle and the "here we go again" mentality. I've been through enough to realize that pain and pleasure are all temporary. The greatest highs come down and the greatest lows find their resolve. The rollercoaster of life is not always fun but is pretty awesome! At first I was drawn to the path of yoga to reduce the constant ups and downs and emotional entanglement that can accompany challenges with people, family, partners and friends. Yoga was my way of finding peace. As I practiced more often, that feeling of peace stayed longer and longer. As I dove into other areas of yoga: observation, awareness, stillness, kindness, appreciation/gratitude and slowing down, life unfolded for me and I could really SEE things from a different perspective.
To keep flowing with life there has to be some drive or ambition or goal. There has to be some desire or multiple desires pushing you forward. You can be desireless but only on a certain sattvic (pure), high-level does this work. A majority of those who are desireless may be on the path of inertia, dullness or tamasic energy which can lead to depression and accumulation. So, fire energy has to be cultivated somehow in life.
Most people have some desire to accomplish, whether it's a short-term or long-term goal. A basic, short-term desire is to want a certain food and then eat it. That requires time, action and choice. A long-term goal may take more time, perseverance and discipline to accomplish.
When you have options and choose the action that represents the highest version of your self, usually this helps build positive character qualities and leads you down that awesome road of:
Integrity | Discipline | Confidence | Fire/Passion/Drive | Ambition
I choose to speak positively.
I choose to commit to my personal goals.
I choose to treat all people with respect.
I choose to be disciplined and with my yoga practice.
I choose to eat non-gmo food.
I choose to eat vegetarian.
Some of these choices may resonate with you. Some might not. Some may be very hard for you to do! You see, with time, certain things that were once hard to do become easier and easier until those good things become habitual and there is no need of thinking to do them.
One example for me was about my choice to speak positively. I became more aware of my voice, my lyrics, my tone, my language many years ago. I started to look at what thoughts I decided to share with others and how often I decided to share. I started to think:
"is this a positive or negative share?"
"does this need to be shared?"
"what is the tone of voice I share with?"
This led me to stop sharing gossip and judgements about myself and others and to cultivate words in my vocabulary that were building, nurturing and supportive. I am at the point where it is so rare for me to speak poorly about someone or share a judgement about someone. It feels wrong to do that! Change is possible but change requires practice. It wasn't as though I was constantly judging others before but the way that I spoke was very different than now.
We all have choices. Choose the best version of yourself!
All actions produce results or karmaphala. The result of choosing wisely is that the outcomes are more than likely pleasing, pleasurable, good, positive and produce transformation and growth of the SELF.
Anyone who is confident knows their craft well. If you've been disciplined enough to practice something over and over, you clearly will have confidence that you KNOW the craft. Confidence is exciting. Confidence is inspiring. Confidence is desirable and magnetic. Confidence draws people towards you. Confidence is a beautiful thing!
I hope you enjoy the video. I surely did.
Lots of love,