Friday, October 28, 2011

Tension and relaxation

Tension is who you think you should be.  
Relaxation is who you are. 
                                               --Chinese Proverb
Marigolds at season's end
     This seems like a good reminder to "lighten up" and "get real" for all of us with perfectionism in our disposition.  
     While brushing our cat earlier this morning I was impressed with how relaxed she was, just being in the moment.  Clearly she wasn't trying to be a nervous dog or some other creature.  She just appears to enjoy being a cat, and could care less about what others might think of her.
     Being focused and "in the moment" is valuable, whether reading a book, playing an instrument, presenting before a group, taking a test, participating in an athletic activity or simply conversing with another person.  While it may be laudable to seek to improve oneself, setting the bar too high may lead too much tension and hence poor performance.  
     The Fortune magazine founder, B.C. Forbes, had different take on things.  He remarked "It may be all right to be content with what you have; never with what you are."  This philosophy helps sell magazines and self improvement books. 
     Seems there is considerable wisdom in the ancient Greek aphorism, "Know thyself."

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