Don’t depress yourself – depress your expectation from yourself
A child who wants to become a long-jump champion needs to start by taking tiny jumps that may seem negligibly ordinary. But for that child, those small jumps are practical, tangible, valuable steps forward.
Whenever we strive to achieve something worthwhile or glorious, we may fail.
That failure can dishearten and depress us. To avoid such depression, we need to recognize that more important than success is progress. If we develop a steady momentum of moving from where we are toward where we want to go, we will, sooner or later, reach where we are meant to be.
Based on our natures, talents and circumstances, we all have different starting points – what may be easy for someone else may not be so easy for us. If we disregard or deny this reality, we succumb to one of the two sides of the counterfeit coin of ego-induced temptation: unrealistic expectation (“I am so great”) and unwarranted depression (“I am so worthless”).
To resist such temptation, we need to depress our expectations. Depressing our expectations doesn’t mean licensing lethargy or apathy; it simply means acknowledging that long journeys are traversed through small steady steps, not through sudden stunning leaps. An attitude of humble realism towards our present status and capacity can help us build the momentum of steady progress that will eventually engender success.
This principle applies to spiritual growth too. The Bhagavad-gita (04.38) indicates that the ability to relish inner happiness through spiritual knowledge develops over time. In the same vein, the Gita (06.25-26) urges us to repeatedly strive for bringing the mind towards the spiritual without unrealistically expecting spiritual absorption overnight. Such sustained practice will eventually make us pacified, purified and satisfied (06.27-28).
By depressing our expectation from success to progress, we can resist the temptation of depression and progress towards success.
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