When we limit our challenges, we can challenge our limits
Suppose an army is fighting a multifront war against a formidable enemy. For the army to succeed or even survive, it needs to limit the fronts on which it fights. Otherwise, it will be stretched too thin and may well be defeated on all fronts. Instead, if it chooses the fronts that are most critical or most winnable, it can dramatically improve its prospects.
During our life, we all face multiple challenges. We have things we need to improve, things we can improve, things we want to improve. But we can’t fight on all those fronts simultaneously, lest we be overwhelmed. When we limit our challenges, prioritizing those areas that are most important or most improvable, we can take tangible positive steps in those areas, thereby challenging those limits.
Pertinently, the traditional system of social organization, named varnashrama, was meant to provide people with challenges that would harmonize with their basic psychophysical nature (Bhagavad-gita 18.41). In keeping with that spirit, we too need to limit our challenges to those areas that are natural for us.
How can we identify those areas? We can begin by observing ourselves and noting down what we’re good at and what we feel good doing. When we thus focus on the areas we are competent and comfortable at, we can both make outer contribution and find inner satisfaction.
Ultimately, we can never become materially perfect, but we can become spiritually perfect, realizing and relishing our position as parts of the all-attractive supreme, Krishna. When we limit our challenges in improving our material situation, then we can challenge the limits to our spiritual consciousness. By extending those limits, we can become increasingly absorbed in Krishna. In that divine absorption, we will find the fulfillment that we won’t find even if we achieved the impossible by successfully challenging all our limits.
Think it over:
- How can limiting our challenges help us?
- How can we identify the areas natural to us?
- How can limiting our challenges maximize our spiritual growth?
18.41 Brahmanas, kshatriyas, vaishyas and shudras are distinguished by the qualities born of their own natures in accordance with the material modes, O chastiser of the enemy.
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