So what we all want is love sweet love. That is our continual goal. How do we regularly achieve that? Skill! Skill is the answer. We have heard that love is the answer but love is the goal! So who needs and deserves love? You do. Why? Descartes was close but missed it. I would say “We feel therefore we matter.” OK, so what parts of you need love? Well, there’s your body (your living vehicle for navigating this life). Then there’s your internal environment (your habitual thoughts, your brain’s operating system) Finally, there’s your external environment (your home, workplace, your friends, your neighbourhood, your planet!) Now it is of course our planet, not just your planet. (This whole dichotomy of you and me is ultimately an illusion anyway.)
As I see it, there are three skills we need to continuously achieve the goal of self (see above) love:
- Skill at keeping your body fit. Exercising in a group looks to be most sustainable here.
- Skill at keeping your will-muscle toned. (Research is revealing that our will power is just like a muscle – it can get flabby and it can get strained.)
- Skill at keeping your internal compass functioning (Good to check it regularly to see if you are moving towards your goal of love.)
Now for each of these three skills, you can go about developing them in several ways:
- Go it alone. This is tough but some (few) do succeed.
- Learn and practice in a group of friends. (Can work but if you are all amateurs then you might learn some unskillful/damaging methods.)
- Get a professional to train and motivate you personally. Can get expensive and the professional might just be a quack/charlatan.
- Join a group led by a professional. The danger here is that you will get mentally lazy and just blindly trust your professional or even start to worship your professional. It’s important to find professionals you can trust (continually look at their results with themselves, you, and others) and it’s also important to keep them honest – while still respecting them. The best professionals are continuously improving themselves and staying open to learning from others, especially their clients.
I want to end by saying that being skillful is fun! Learning can also be fun. Yes becoming skillful takes discipline however the payoff is awesome! Do you want to be a rank amateur at living for the rest of your life? What are your thoughts?