About Rowena

Hello, my name is Ro, and I believe that it is possible for you to turn your ordinary life into an extraordinary life - to find true happiness, while remaining, selfless, mindful and compassionate towards other living beings. Here at my blog, I interview and post articles by musicians, writers, world travelers, humanitarians and other amazing individuals who are doing just that. I also share with you various anecdotes about my own totally awesome existence as a musician, composer, journalist, environmentalist, and compassionati. My hope is to connect with you, enlighten you, inspire you and lead you down the path to true happiness. Compassion is always in fashion and it starts with you loving that most important of people, yourself.

February 18, 2011

Finding Compassion in Pursuit of Your Passion

The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater our own sense of well-being becomes. Cultivating a close, warm-hearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. This helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the ultimate source of success in life.   -   The Dalai Lama

I have written many times on finding and pursuing your passion as a means to turning your ordinary life into an extraordinary life. I have expounded even more on the intricacies of developing love and compassion towards all other sentient beings in order to find true happiness.   The question arises then, "are we as human beings capable of seeking perfection and significance in those things that we like to do, while generating  that selfless concern for the welfare of others known as altruism?"  

The answer is yes, you can do both simultaneously, if you go about achieving your goals in the correct way.  As a matter of fact much as a simple trip to the grocery store puts you in the position of dealing with any number of people, allowing you a multitude of opportunities to be either a total jerk, or to practice patience, tolerance and kindness, pursuing your passion exposes you to a multitude of new opportunities in which to practice any number of kind and selfless acts.  

First never forget that hate, anger and jealousy are afflictive emotions and stumbling blocks not only in your daily life, but also in realizing your dreams.   As you proceed in your endeavors to live a life beyond the ordinary, always remember to:

1.  Be aware of your thoughts.   What is your mindset and your purpose for doing what you are doing?   What are your motives for moving in any particular direction?  How do you really feel?   Do you feel good after each and every game just for having played, or are you devastated when your team loses.   Did you take up surfing because you love the sport, or to get hot bikini babes to go out with you?  Is this a means of escape from your spouse, or does the time away makes you a better partner, maybe give you something interesting to talk about?   Do you feel jealousy towards others who have achieved a certain level of perfection, or do you admire them, appreciate their wisdom, feel a sense of comraderie and appreciate the chance to learn from them?  Having the right motives for pursuing any particular passion, appreciating the experience, and feeling good about it while you are doing it are integral in having compassion towards yourself as well as others.

2.  Think before you speak.    Be kind and respectful in everything that you say to others who may be involved in your pursuits - even when you disagree with someone.  Don't criticize.  Don't verbally abuse.  Have patience.  Agree to disagree with them, without harsh judgment, foul language, accusations or name calling.  If there is really no harm in letting them have things their way, let them have it - perform this little act of loving kindess.   Understand that everyone has the right to their own opinion in any event.

3.  Be forgiving.  Understand that sometimes people are going to disappoint you, and you are going to have to get past it.   If your guitarist shows up for rehearsal without having learned new songs as promised, as long as this is not a consistent problem, give them some understanding for being human - seriously, do you really know everything that is going on in their life?  Is there something you can do to help?   If this is a consistent problem, if they have too many excuses, if they misrepresented their level of talent, or turn out to be a trouble maker,  you may have to part ways, but do so as respectfully as possible, because they are going to be hurting inside.   If they become angry, accusatory or tearful - which they probably will, don't lose your temper or become harsh.  Show compassion for their suffering and feel that compassion on the inside to.  Afterall, how would you feel if you were the one getting the axe?   Above all, be forgiving.  Oh yes and just in case it is you getting the axe, chalk it up to experience, be polite, thank them for the opportunity, bow out gracefully, forgive them if you feel you have been wronged, admit it if you know deep down inside that you deserve it, and then go out and try again.

4.  Act appropriately.   If you cannot be kind to someone, at the very least don't do anything to harm them. Be disciplined in your thoughts and your deeds!  If your pursuit involves competition, keep it friendly - compliment your opponent on a good shot, as this is probably their passion too.   Don't storm off the tennis court if you lose the match, and be as humble as you can when you win.  Shake your opponent's hand in either case and thank them - offer to have a rematch anytime or to have a cold drink together and swap stories.  Be grateful to them for having spent the time with you, have compassion for them if they lost, especially if they are a bad sport and not able to be as wise and accepting of a loss as you.  If you believe their win and your loss was the result of a bad call, don't throw your tennis racket or insult the referee, as they are human beings too.   Having discipline and wisdom in your reaction to any given situation is an act of compassion too.

5.  Be mindful and honest.   Don't involve yourself in anything illegal or that has the potential of harming others.  If art is your passion, use a canvass - don't graffiti your neighbor's wall.   If photography is your passion, don't trespass or become paparazzi, have respect for the privacy of others.   If hiking is your passion, be aware of fragility of nature, don't litter, don't be injurous to wildlife, don't go where you should not be going.  If you are in a rock band, don't tear down other band's flyer or bad mouth them.  If you can only rehearse late on a week night, don't do so in your garage unless it is completely soundproof - think of your neighbors. If you are selling something or providing a service to others, be generous, ethical, professional, sincere and honest - don't sell people snake oil, or gadgets that fall apart.  Have compassion for the hard work that they put into earning the money that they are investing in you.   Don't take advantage of their kindness and belief in what you do.    

6.  Concentrate.   Use the time that you have allowed for this pursuit to its full advantage - especially in cases where others are involved as this is important to them.  If this is a sole pursuit, without a doubt it is important to you!  In either case, proceed with enthusiasm, optimism, and be sure to focus.  This is your golden opportunity to be the best you can be at something that you really want to do - to become extraordinary.   In any event, put the greatest effort possible into what you are trying to accomplish.

Through things such as generosity, discipline, patience, thoughtfulness, mindfulness, humility, understanding, forgiveness, optimism, focus, concentration and effort, people will come to see you as a good person, one whom they want to work with, play with, be friends with, be a fan/admirer of, or a customer to.    This will of course contribute significantly to your joyful pursuit of your passion in ways that you probably might not have even expected.   You will become extraordinary.   You will become enlightened.   You will experience the greatest happiness of all, that of great love, great compassion, and altruism.

Now go out and live your extraordinary life and know that your happiness is important to me.




Achim said...

Everyone should read this and not only read the words but also to comprehend the meaning of it. Wonderful post, Ro. You warmed my heart once more. Love & Peace, Achim

Ro said...

Thank you. I have learned much from you friend!