How to create a better life with what we have
We often aspire to create a better life. Yet we usually feel hamstrung by insufficient resources such as finances, time, or even abilities — especially when compared with others who have much more.
In life, resources aren’t equally distributed to everyone — that’s an unpalatable yet undeniable reality. And such inequities are mostly beyond our immediate power to rectify. If we dwell on them too much, we will feel victimized by life itself, thereby losing all impetus to even attempt to improve our life.
Instead, we can appreciate whatever we have, even if it is little, and take responsibility for putting it to the best use. Pertinently, the Bhagavad-gita (17.16) recommends satisfaction as a discipline of the mind. This means that we no longer see satisfaction as an involuntary emotion which we sometimes feel; instead, we see it as a conscious decision that we regularly make: the decision to stop obsessing over what we don’t have and to start working with what we do have.
If we try to responsibly use the money we presently have, we will find ways to better manage it. And when we get more money, we will have the impulse control necessary to use it effectively.
The same principle applies for time and abilities too. Instead of lamenting that we have so little time for the things that matter, we can start using that time diligently. Thus, we will become more organized and time conscious, thereby using our time more judiciously. Similarly, even if our abilities are modest, we can still commit ourselves to using them fully, thereby making the most of those abilities.
In fact, few things are as empowering as the realization that we don’t have to wait for more resources to start improving our life.
To transform our life, we don’t need more resources; we just need to take more responsibility for the resources we have.
Think it over:
- How might we lose all impetus to improve our life?
- Satisfaction is a discipline of the mind — what does this mean?
- How can you begin creating a better life right now?
17.16: And satisfaction, simplicity, gravity, self-control and purification of one’s existence are the austerities of the mind.
To know more about this verse, please click on the image
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