The Thought for the Day – Trees and Enduring Success and Failure

[Trees] endure…Theirs is the forbearance of being true to their inner natures…Neither bad fortune nor good fortune will alter what they are. We should be the same way. We may have great fortune or bad, but we should patiently bear both…We must always be true to our inner selves. – Deng Ming Dao, 365 Tao

Some may not think of success in terms of something that must be endured, but it is. Good fortune, like bad fortune, has the potential to alter who we are and how we behave, preventing us from being true to our inner selves.

Success and failure are interesting animals. A lot of our satisfaction or discontent in life stems from these two impostors, but in reality both are nothing more than receipts issued by life showing we tried to improve ourselves. If we tried and succeeded at something, good, Every step forward in life provides a wonderful dividend of confidence. The caveat, of course, is we can’t rest on our laurels: we must exceed ourselves next time.

If we failed, we can either try again later, or, at need, we can realize there is no point to banging our head against the wall, liberating us to try something else.

Success or failure can throw us from our path, but only if we let it. All of us have lives we were meant to live, things we were meant to accomplish, paths we were meant to take. If we let outside influences like mere success or failure affect how we live our lives, we are not being true to our inner selves.

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