Strength doesn't come from physical capacity. It comes from indomitable will.
-- Mahatma Gandhi
“In the time of your life, live . . . seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding-place and let it be free and unashamed. . . Discover in all things that which shines and is beyond corruption. Encourage virtue in whatever heart it may have been driven into secrecy and sorrow by the shame and terror of the world. Ignore the obvious, for it is unworthy of the clear eye and the kindly heart. Be the inferior of no man nor of any man be the superior. . . In the time of your life, live – so that in that wondrous time you shall not add to the misery and sorrow of the world, but shall smile to the infinite delight and mystery of it.”
-- William Saroyan, playwright’s note appended to “The Time of Your Life”
See, that's all you're thinking about, is winning. You're confirming your sense of self- worth through outward reward instead of through inner appreciation.
-- Barbara Hall, Northern Exposure, Gran Prix, 1994
This quote sums up the Yogic concept of Santosa: Contentment and the Embrace of Life. Many of us are entering a new year with typical Western "resolutions" to fix something about ourselves, reach a milestone or some external goal. While these ambitions are often noble, be aware that they can sometimes generate discontent.
We sometimes motivate ourselves through such assertions as, "I'll finally be happy whenever I have.." -- and fill in the blank. Maybe we think we'll be happy when we loose that weight, meet that special someone, or stop smoking. The motivation in all of these is very similar: I am broken, and I must do something to fix myself, or I am incomplete and need to add something to my life.
Such thinking plants the seed of the undoing of your goals. If you recognize your own mind in these thoughts, then refocus and re-center. Find your Inner Appreciation first, and set your goals with a mind towards Growth. This is nature's way. Always remember that life is a process of growth, and all experience and circumstance -- the fun and the frustrating alike -- becomes something that we can practice and learn from.
Every morning in Africa a gazelle awakens knowing it must today run faster than the fastest lion or it will be eaten. Every morning a lion awakens knowing it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It matters not whether you are a gazelle or a lion, when the sun rises you had better be running.
-- African Proverb