“You say no one acts up to his professions, or lives according to the standard which he sets up in his discourses: what wonder, seeing that the words which they speak are brave, gigantic and able to weather all the storms which wreck mankind.” – Seneca
We have set large goals. We have chosen high and difficult standards. We have accepted that self mastery is a goal we constantly strive for full well knowing that we will never attain it.
We invite mockery. We invite people to question our motives. We invite people to doubt our abilities. And we even invite self doubt to creep in and wear away our inner defenses during the times when we are most vulnerable.
But if we look closely, it’s true of everyone. If our ideal is not better than us, if it is easily accessible or even attainable within a single lifetime then it is easy to contemplate a better more superior ideal.
If instead, we understand that we have chosen a goal that is unattainable and that we will not reach that goal within our lifetime. And if we understand that no mortal could in all possibility achieve the level of self mastery we are working towards in a single lifetime. Then we will know that we have set the goals we want for ourselves at an appropriate difficulty.
And even though we will never achieve them, we will become far better than we ever could have imagined.
virtus fortis vocat