When was the last time you challenged yourself?
My religion is Jesus. And I often find wisdom in other places. That doesn’t mean any wisdom or teachings found elsewhere supersedes my Christian faith. I test ideas out.
So, that said: There is a Zen saying, “Don’t seek the truth. Just cease to cherish opinions.”
At first, when I heard that first line, I was like, say what? Don’t seek the truth? That’s a load of…wait…SQUIRREL… I like that second line.
Here’s how I interpret the two short Zen sentences (Zentences) together: Don’t love your long-held opinions so much that you are impervious to the actual truth you are too stubborn to know. Loosen your dug-in heels a little, be a little less stuck, a little more teachable, a little less, “I know what I know.”
I’ve been an avid mountain biker for several years now. I love it. Like, really love. I’m on Strava and Garmin, which are apps that track your rides. They give you stats (times, miles, elevation, etc), but it never occurred to me until this week to really look at the information collected and challenge myself—to see if I could let go of my comfy pace and improve my time on some of my regular routes. To see what I’m capable of, to see if I could do better. And you know what? The last two days in a row, I improved. It wasn’t until I was open to doing better, that I got better. I found out what I could do, what I could know.
Cherishing opinions (snuggling our ego) keeps us stuck. We don’t improve, and we’ll never reach our personal best.