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.

One-sentence summary:

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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Author: Chaitanya Charan

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10 Comments

  1. Thanks a lot dear Prabhuji for presenting this apparently easy to understand but difficult to practice topic of Satisfaction. Very clear and concise.

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    • Yes, it’s tough to practice, but we can begin with cultivating satisfaction in small areas.

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  2. Wonderful prabhu ji. Thank you so much for your supportive insights. Hare Krishna!

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    • Happy to be of service.

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  3. Hare Krishna Prabhuji. Please accept my humble obeisance.
    Satisfactory motivation in this covid crisis. Thank you very much Prabhuji.
    Ys
    Jagadish

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    • Happy to be of service.

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  4. Hare Krishna! Wonderful explanation and great reminder for me to cultivate satisfaction in small areas….Thanks again and grateful to read Gita daily everyday topic….

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    • Thanks for your appreciation – yes, it’s a reminder we all need.

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  5. Hare Krsna Prabhuji !
    You are explaining each and every topic very great manner , I reallly like it ..!
    Lots of things want to learn from you …! 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

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  6. Happiness or satisfaction cannot be bought, sold, bartered, exchanged gifted, or donated. It is, simply, a state of mind, which, as we’re reminded by the revered author, “the Bhagavad-gita (17.16) recommends satisfaction as a discipline of the mind.”
    Research shows that
    no matter what the outcome of our efforts, we all feel increasingly strapped for time, and often the things that we think will make us happy — the accomplishments we work so hard for — don’t. They most certainly do not give us back moments with our families and friends or more hours to ourselves

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