“Overstraining is the enemy of accomplishment. Calm strength that arises from a deep and inexhaustible source is what brings success.” ~ Rabindranath Tagore …
This really comes down to our lack of knowledge of what constitutes true strength in life. All too often we see people “overstraining” themselves–wasting effort, time, and energy trying to do something or control someone or something–because they feel that strength is defined by how much effort is exerted. But strength is not a measure of force or control, nor is it a measure of how well we can absorb the hurt from others; strength is our ability to hold on to our internal peace, serenity, joy, compassion, mercy, and love in the midst of difficulties and failures, uncertainty and discord.
When we are able to handle difficult situations in authentic ways–remaining completely ourselves and not worrying about what others think or say about us–we forego overstraining and overexerting ourselves in harmful and unproductive ways. No longer do we need to raise our voice, curse, or threaten others, for we know that real strength is seeing the situation for what it is and determining a healthy and appropriate response.
Being strong does not mean we must show or prove our strength–one of the strongest individuals I have ever known did so silently, even when she was going through chemotherapy for her cancer. My grandmother was confident, compassionate, strong and selfless–never talking about how strong she was, simply being strong. She was courageous in the face of uncertainty and pain, never complaining of her lot in life, blaming God or others, or asking for something easier.
We each can achieve success in our lives by following Rabindranath’s message of nourishing the calm strength deep within. Without it, we may do some things well but success is often fleeting or just out of reach, and we cannot expect it to repeat itself. Yet with it–our inner strength–we have the ability to achieve great and lasting successes.
Take a moment to discover some of your lesser known inner strengths.
Questions to consider:
What is the difference between inner strength and superficial strength? Whom do you know who has each kind?
Why does inner strength seem to be more rare than superficial strength?
Why do people who depend on superficial strength tend to overstrain so often?
For further thought:
“You will succeed best when you put the restless, anxious side of affairs out of mind, and allow the restful side to live in your thoughts.” ~ Margaret Stowe