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3 Principles for a Better Life

by TodayDigitNews@gmail.com
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I first heard this statement muttered by a Zen master at a meditation retreat in my early twenties. You are good enough as is…but you can always do better.

There is an inherent tension between self-acceptance and self-improvement. This tension is within each of us. On the one hand, we want to feel at peace with ourselves and understand that we are good, worthy and worthy human beings, worthy of love and respect, and sometimes betrayed.

On the other hand, unless you’re in a coma, it’s clear that most of the time you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing. we mess up all the time. There are many ways we can become better: learn more, achieve more, grow more.

I like this principle because it frankly admits that this internal tension will never go away. No matter how productive, talented, and wonderful you are, there will always be things you’re not good at. That gnawing inferiority complex is never overcome. There is no perfection, only progress.

But at the same time, no matter how many failures you make, no matter how many mistakes you make, no matter how much room you have to grow, you are a worthy and valuable person.

The beauty of this principle is that it demonstrates the mutual necessity of self-acceptance and self-improvement. Self-acceptance without self-improvement makes you lazy, spoiled, and selfish. If you are all doing self-improvement without self-acceptance, you will be neurotic, over-critical, and over-worrisome.

Self-acceptance cannot work without self-improvement. Self-improvement cannot work without self-acceptance. You are perfect just the way you are, but you can always be better.

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