Do you ever get disappointed with yourself when you fail to meet your expectations, even when they are unrealistic? And do you think that in order to give yourself appreciation you need to have done something amazing or be amazing? I often set high unrealistic expectations of myself (and others too) and wind up feeling disappointed and disapproving. This never helps me feel confident, happy or have peace of mind.
When I can be more realistic regarding my expectations, and be kind, encouraging and appreciative of myself and my big and small efforts to be better for others no matter how small, I can relax and be happy.
One big unrealistic expectation i can have, is that 'I need to do something amazing or be amazing' in order to be better for others. This is untrue and as Mother Teresa says 'Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you'.
It is somewhat crazy that we can have unrealistic expectations of what it means to be kind. I am often reminded that our small achievements or the small, kind things we do for others can be as important as the big ones. We don't have to be saving someone from a near death experience, or be a high flying whoever, to make a big difference to others. A smile to a stranger, a word of encouragement or a compliment can totally change someone's day or life for the better. Those times when we do anonymous kind things for others, without the need to seek approval or thanks, are especially powerful. We have seen ourselves do the kind act, so are able to give ourselves appreciation and feel happy about all the small ways we can be better for others.
Again I need to be aware to balance things out with a 'better for others' attitude and not let pride get in the way by somehow thinking that I am better than others by practicing kindness! Remembering humility and that others provide the opportunity for me to practice kindness helps too.
We sometimes believe we need to be amazing in our careers, or personal lives and have it all happening to be successful. If we are able to be kind and do our best with the 'better for others attitude', It doesn't matter what we do. I was told of a much loved cleaner in a Cancer Hospital, who with her light hearted, bright disposition and compassionate, kind manner made a huge difference to the patients she met. Although not qualified as a doctor she was certainly administering good medicine. The good medicine of kindness and as Aesop reminds us 'No act of kindness no matter how small is ever wasted.'
One night in Bali I was reminded by a Balinese mosquito of the Dalai Lama quote, 'If you think you're too small to make a difference... try sleeping with a mosquito in the room'.
Have a great week. Thank you all.
Kind Regards and Best Wishes