The Three Most Important Things I Learned as a Monk
1: Everything gets better and easier if you make it an act of service. And that’s true no matter what you dedicate that service to: self, other, god, humanity… whatever works for you. It’s about the attitude.
(Oh, and if you’re one of those people who euphemise ‘serving customers’ into ‘servicing customers’: that’s not how it works. You can’t service your customers — they are not cars).
2: No matter what you think something is, that’s always, without fail, only part of the picture.
And, it’s a damn useful habit to always ask yourself: ‘What else? What else is this, can this mean, can this represent, does this indicate, asks me to consider… what else?’
3: Self-importance is at the root of every single problem we have, and that’s the same for everyone.
On a deep level, part of us still believes the world revolves around us, and that part can get mighty boisterous — tyrannical even — if the world doesn’t bow to its splendour and majesty.
If you’ve done some self-discovery, you’ll have found, and hopefully somewhat tamed, your own version of this little beast.
Self-importance is at the heart of things, because it works from a fundamental assumption, that ‘the world should be different than I say it should be’.
As long as you still let that influence how you think, feel, talk and act, you can end up with all kinds of problems:
From ineffective marketing and sales, to depression and argumentative relationships, from self-sabotaging behaviour and a life less lived, to team members who oppose you and a career that won’t take off… a whole bunch of fun things.
If you want the best action in order to improve your life, at the very heart, root and core of it all, start there:
Tame your self-importance. Learn (and practice!) humility. Perform acts of service, and turn the others into acts of service as well.
If self-importance is the root problem when our well-being isn’t optimal, service is the antidote.
Reducing self-importance in your words, feelings, deeds thoughts and beliefs, is the most important thing you’ll ever do for yourself.
Originally published at MartinStellar.com.