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Soulful Sundays: Readiness

"We have learnt, rather too late, that action comes, not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility." -Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable." -Sun Tzu

All of us are striving for something. The list of possible goals is infinite, including fortune and failure. Where our minds go, our energy follows. We can manifest our wildest dreams with enough focus and tenacity, yet few of us are prepared for what happens after the rapture. When we put too much focus on accomplishing benchmarks merely for the sake of accomplishment, then we actually lose the mark. We lose our readiness to continue forward through life's dynamic obstacles. We lose the true joy of participating in the action in the first place.

Sometimes we obsess over the worst possible outcomes, and thus we create them. If we look for the negative, then it will become so. Shifting our focus to observing reality instead allows us to glimpse more of the truth. Pessimism and optimism are moods based on what we choose to emphasize. We can only choose our own individual actions. The rest is up to fate.

A skilled swimmer or sprinter actually relaxes on the starting block. He doesn't tense up. That would be wasted energy. He knows that all of the real work has been done prior to the race. The only thing that will benefit him now is waiting attentively and preparing to go forward when the opportunity arrives.

For whatever we endeavor, it is imperative to first prepare for the responsibility of success. This means not only accepting the results of hard work but staying committed to the continued pursuit of excellence. It means thinking clearly about what we wish to accomplish and about the best steps to getting there - then practicing these steps devoutly. When the moment of truth arrives, we can know that we have adequately prepared. We can relax and be ready. The good follows.

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