Discipline and Perseverance > Motivation and Passion

“Your blog ruins everything.”

I think that has to be the best feedback so far.

Let’s continue with ruining things.

And using symbols in the title.

I had to Google that to get it right. 

If you are on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook or the internet or this planet, then you see all the motivation hustles that are out there. You see all the memes and inspiring pictures about passion. They are everywhere.



Motivate Your Life




I didn’t look those up, but I will bet they are all real things somewhere. Using 2 and 4 instead of to and for is the modern version of what using z instead of s was in the 90s.

Here’s the problem though.

Motivation is overrated and will abandon you at some point. Passion is fleeting and falls to pieces at the first dirty look. They will fail you.

Probably at some point very soon.

Like this morning because you are tired from staying up and watching TV for no good reason whatsoever.

Or when you have tried something over and over without success.

Or when things just aren’t fun anymore.

Or you aren’t feeling well.

Motivation will fail you, discipline will not. Passion disappears, perseverance lasts.

Motivation and passion are fun and uplifting, and disappear in the lightest breeze.

Discipline and perseverance are firm and grounded and are strongest when we need them most.

They aren’t as much fun to post about, but they never bail on you.

Invest in what lasts. 

Comparisons = Death

Think of everything you have.

Think of how awesome these things would seem to be if you did not have them.

Notice how the mind automatically tries to switch back to looking at the things you do not have.

This isn’t the mind being difficult or ungrateful, it is doing it’s job. Our minds are supposed to make sure we are getting the best of everything, that we are well taken care of.

Looking at what we already have doesn’t really help with this, so our default is to always look at what we don’t have, what we could have.

We can re-train this tendency though.

We can be actively and gratefully aware of everything we do have.

We can learn to be conscious of the difference between actual needs and the things we are programmed by society and culture to think are needs.

We can learn to appreciate the perfection of every moment, to recognize that things are as they are, and that our stories about them are not only unhelpful, they are not real.

What you do have is right here, right now.

The comparisons are imaginary.

Yes, Everyone

So we’ll stick with compassion for a few days.

Reiterating: yes, I think everyone deserves kindness and compassion.

Everyone means everyone.

It is tragic that a young man killed another human being and made the decision to end his life in a jail cell. Being in a place where taking your own life becomes the best, most rational decision in your mind is deeply tragic. It doesn’t matter how you got there. There is a place for compassion for anyone in that situation.

It is tragic to see anyone become so oppressed by an ideology or belief system that they are willing to harm others because of it. We only get one chance at this life, for it to be spent in darkness and delusion is an unspeakable tragedy. A one-time window into an amazing universe wasted. There is a place for compassion for those living in violence and hatred. 

Yes, it is much easier to have compassion for the victims of Aaron Hernandez and ISIS, and the victims certainly deserve our compassion, but withholding it from the perpetrators helps no one and only adds to the sum total of hatred in the world.

We like to think that hating those that hate others balances the scale on some cosmic level, or that we are accomplishing something by shutting off our kindness and compassion, but we are not. This only affects us, and never in a positive way.

Those who are suffering create more suffering in the world. We don’t have to add to that.

None of this means we become victims or walk around wide-eyed and stupid, but we can protect ourselves and those we love without anger or hatred. We can offer kindness and compassion without putting ourselves in dangerous or foolish positions.

Anger and hatred trick us into thinking they offer positions of power when they are really just expressions of fear and refusal to engage with reality as it is.

The gray area of compassion for those who bring harm and pain to ourselves and others may be uncomfortable, but it is much more real, and real is always better.

Why Kindness?

“Do you really think we can always respond with kindness?”


This could have been a really short post.

It still might be.

This is an ugly, ugly world sometimes.

I contributed to the ugliness for a lot of my life.

Maybe not in any significant way, but in ways that were probably significant to the people who were affected by my ugliness.

The way we treat and mistreat people affects them, and mistreating people affects us. Everything that we do adds to the sum total of everything that is floating around in the world in some way, no matter how small.

I want my contribution to always be one of kindness and compassion.

I don’t want to add to the ugliness in the world.

I fail at this all the time.

But I keep trying. I am not sure what else to do. 

Thanks for reading. 

Imagining Reality

Everything that goes on in our head is just imagination.

All of it.

Some of it is easily recognized as imagination.

Fantasies about having a super power or saving the day when tragedy strikes.

Some of it is more realistic but still easily recognized.

Imagining trips you might take one day or picturing what it would have been like if you married someone else.

The real issue are the things that trick us into thinking they are more than imagination, the things that have just enough reality to seem truthful.

Thoughts about what our partner is thinking or their real motives for doing what they did.

Ideas about how our day is going to go.

Playing out conversations in our head.

These seem realistic, but it’s just the difference between a movie about a manned flight to Mars and a movie about a cop who know Kung Fu going back in time to kill Hitler. One seems more realistic, but it is still a movie.

Just because something could happen doesn’t make it real.

This is true of anything that is not going on right in front of us.  It’s just imagination.

To further complicate things, even when things are happening right in front of us they pass through a few layers if imagination before we “see” them.

Layers of concepts, memories, opinions, emotions and other things all distort what we see as reality. The more we can be aware of this, the more we can deal with reality instead of imagination.

Have a great day.