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102 Be the best version of
It’s time to flesh out the skeleton of
this popular topic. It appeared in
articles 33 and
34 and was reviewed in
article 80 in relation to Dr. Hardy’s book. It is part of
healthy self-image and PMA, positive mental attitude.
Article 96 connected the idea to our purchases in the busines
world: People are paying for better versions of themselves.
I expressed my goal setting method in
articles 86 and
100. I take a scientific approach, identifying and
alleviating what holds back the better self. Contemporary
marketing teaches potential buyers that they have pain which
should be cured by use of a product. That sequence is overly
simplistic. It does not accord with my use of the word panacea in
articles 95 and
100. I require more when I use the word
As suggested by the four noble truths of
Buddhism, I study what is in an imperfect state (suffering) and
methodically investigate causes and relationships -with the
purpose of changing the conditions for the better - to arrive at
a desirable state. Even that expanded sentence is woefully
inadequate as a summary, but it gives you an idea how I am
approaching an objective. Without belittling anyone, I am
awakening a desire for a better version.
The theme of this happiness blog is our
creation of a better world. It is not meant as a condemnation.
Good things can be made better. Sometimes good is called the
enemy of the best because it tempts us to stop halfway.
So naturally, I start with a good and
happy world. If that does not describe where you are, you can
make it your first goal to join me there. The key to laying our
foundation of togetherness is to identify what is a happy world.
I ask point blank, “What makes you happy?” Please do not be
crushed if I observe that the question often starts a miniature
Sadly, we do not all desire alike. Some
of us feel greatly blessed and desire to increase that state.
Others feel deprived and desire radical change. The idea of
desiring at all is associated with upheaval. If I ask, “What do
you choose?” dissatisfied others reply, “Nothing you offer!” That
is a symptom of frustration expressing itself as anger. In those
instances, there is preliminary work to do ahead of overt goal
I begin my discussion by asking what to
improve because I am surrounded by the breakdown described in the
previous paragraph. Every day my heart breaks over some vision I
have of peace and plenty. It would be so readily attained if only
everybody would agree to the vision. Instead, much of the world
crushes me with expectations that are neither peace nor plenty.
People grab what does not satisfy and enact what does not
improve. I see why Buddhism associates suffering with craving and
I can’t define my way into somebody’s
heart. My quiet, peaceful ways annoy many people who will not be
persuaded that I am happier than they are. Those whom I see as
contented don’t need my suggestions and those who could most use
contentment reject its validity. This shows most in victims of
materialism: those suffering from it feverishly pursue it to
abate the pain it causes them. Describing the joys of the heart
goes over the heads of those whose organ of perception is the
What to do instead? Share my
unique wealth! In discontented people there is a suppressed tinge
of envy of my peace. My strength is to hold precious peace
stronger than they hold their pain. Please refer to article 45 to review relieving of pain by sharing the burden
of pain, not the pain itself. One who wants me to be equally
miserable has the direction reversed. Instead, I will share the
This process requires truly even-handed
observation, sincere objectivity. I experience subjective
happiness while meshing with mixed reality where happiness is not
universally defined. Along with Aristotle (article
58), I accept happiness as a life purpose, but my concept
thereof will never be universal—even in a future state of
godhood. I plead with do-gooders to acknowledge the complexity of
happiness. We have something precious to share with
The above section requires an entire
stand-alone course. Here let us posit that we can identify what
we really want. With togetherness in that, we are prepared to go
there together. Without the panacea of understanding, people
fight each other’s progress—over the what and over the how.
I tread gently on what should be common
ground. I wish sincerely for all of us to identify Humans’
article 27) in common. They are carefully selected, and
together contribute to shared happiness. The deeper needs like
worth and meaning are not so urgently visible as the need for
air, but they are equally important to health.
Let this discussion not become
suffocating. From our list of needs, we can settle on finding
something in common. That is the important beginning point of
helping people to the better versions of themselves. There is
certainly no shortage of opportunities. For many, it is as simple
as supplying clean water. For others, it is lifelong attention to
educational advancement. Whatever we identify, we use our
scientific analytical approach to goal setting that opened this
article. I have been improving our likelihood of success by
encouraging right awareness at the start.
Now we arrive at the easy part. Yes
indeed, it is easier to carry out a plan than it is to agree on
the plan to be carried out. A favorite quotation comes from
Goethe: “Action is easy, thinking is difficult, and acting on
the thought is uncomfortable.” (Google translation) If you have
genuinely experienced the above thinking for yourself, you are
ready for acting on it.
Begin with the analytical
self-examination. Does my thinking even apply to this situation?
Does it promote my prejudices, or does it blend with a common
thread? Is it easy to appreciate? Is it unselfish? Is it
understandable? It is normally more important to be understood
than to be efficient. People do not respond well to imposed
From self, proceed to the larger circle.
Who in the group has the best overview, is closest to
understanding? Who has the needed talent? Who is an effective
leader? If I contribute an idea, I might not be the best at
communicating it to the volunteers.
There is balancing of outcomes. The study
phase produces an amalgam of compatible goals. That allows
utilizing workers of different talents. Some will know how to lay
the bricks while others know how to serve the cocoa. The work
phase reveals who can walk the walk. Done right, it increases the
momentum of cooperation. Recall the wisdom of Lao-Tzu that
climaxed article 28:
Go to the people. Live with them. Learn from
them. Love them. Start with what they know. Build with what they
have. But with the best leaders, when the work is done, the task
accomplished, the people will say 'We have done this
Today’s article charts a practical path
to success. It starts with identifying success and moves toward
reaching it. Every stage requires sensitivity and understanding.
The outcome depends on people who jointly become the best
versions of themselves. This has nothing to do with money, and
everything to do with who we are together.
Being For Others Blog copyright © 2020 Kent Busse
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