Vol. 4, Issue 1
The Foundation for Daily Achievements
Martin “Mark” Tomback
I work on myself. So what does that mean? It means that I believe in self-help. Whether it’s bodybuilding, being health conscious, acquiring new skills or, in my case, building my character through healthy thoughts and emotions, it means that you take personal responsibility for yourself to do better and give yourself joy and satisfaction in your accomplishments.
Yes, it’s true that everyone helps themselves. That’s part of being a human being. The self-help I’m talking about is the conscious effort to invest your time, spend your money, and do the work it takes to improve yourself. Years ago, it was the way all things were done. You built your house and home and you fed yourself and your family by farming the land. Today, obviously, all we have to do is go to a store and pay our money for those necessities of life. We’ve moved forward as a civilization. We’ve evolved. And with our evolution self-help has taken on a new face. Today many people look in the mirror with a fresh meaning for self-help. Now they have more time to consider their mysterious experience through life and ask themselves, “How can they be happier? How can they feel real joy and accomplishment in their lives?”
People feel their dignity. They recognize what makes them happy. At least, they recognize when they feel that something they need is missing from their lives. We all have this sense of ourselves. And many people with the will to make their lives better need help, as we all do, in one way or another. The beauty of modern times is how convenient all this help has become. For some it’s testing themselves in sports and activities. For others it’s travel and adventure. Some just like tasting a little of this and a little of that from the vast feast contemporary life offers. And for many it’s the simple satisfaction of being comfortable with themselves without any delusions about the value of things.
The basic foundation for a happy life rests on two main features: patience and enthusiasm. Both these concepts are fairly easy to understand. But the value in both of them is in feeling them, having them be part of your natural attitude and not just a reasonable way to do things. It’s when you feel them that they really pay off. And you can be certain that you feel them because you’ll feel good. These are both healthy, positive attitudes because they’re more than just ideas, and you define them in your feelings, not just your thoughts.
Patience doesn’t mean just waiting. Its real meaning is the acceptance of success and realizing that it will take whatever time it takes. Goals can be prepared for but they can’t be forced. Yes, some details of your objectives can be pressured into position. But the completeness that genuinely satisfies you develops in its own natural way. It grows and creates facets and features that you hadn’t planned on but make perfect sense to you as they appear. What being patient does is give you comfort through all the small successes, failures, obstacles, and seemingly endless time that it sometimes takes to have what you want. Real patience feels good and protecting. So if you’re not comfortable with it then your not being patient, you’re just thinking about being patient.
Enthusiasm, your other support, is like that too. It’s often confused with some of its expressions. It’s not persistence or perseverance which are goal directed. It’s not determination or dedication which are also goal directed. Neither is it being energetic, excited, or dynamic which may not have any real focus at all. The closest concept to enthusiasm might be being passionate, that acceptance of any suffering it takes to achieve a goal. I say that it’s the closest because passion lives in the moment…as does enthusiasm. The difference with enthusiasm is that enthusiasm means having joy in the moment. You’re aware of your goals but it’s the moment of adventure that holds the excitement, your interest, and your love. So enthusiasm also feels good NOW! People often mistake enthusiasm and call it passion. But if you’re feeling joy and love then you’re feeling your enthusiasm. And the features of any situation become insignificant as just passing time while you move forward towards your goal, savoring every minute of it.
It’s said that virtue is its own reward, and maybe it’ll come to you some time in the future. Well, patience and enthusiasm are definitely their own reward and you don’t have to wait till tomorrow. If you are feeling patient and enthusiastic now then you’re feeling good now. That’s the beauty in them and that’s also how you’ll be sure that you’re feeling those attitudes. You’ll feel good regardless of the situation. You’ll be excited that you’re enthusiastically engaged in life and comfortable in knowing that in time you’ll have what you want in all its glory. You recognize that your success is in the getting there, in smelling the roses along the way, as they say. Of course you have your goals but your real goal is living right now, today, at this very moment. That’s where your control is, and patience gives you all the time in the world to achieve what you want and feel comfortable with it. Time and action is what it’s all about. They’ll give you everything you want and you’ll love the ride doing it. That sounds pretty good to me. So what do you want in life? Why not start with feeling good? So, start thinking about having patience and enthusiasm. Then feel it!
© 2010 Martin Tomback