focus on making choices that honor your best self

focus on making choices that honor your best self
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“Where is Good? In our reasoned choices. Where is Evil? In our reasoned choices. Where is that which is neither Good nor Evil? In the things outside of our own reasoned choice.”
– Epictetus, Discourses, 2.16.1

In the ancient Indian epic Ramayana, Vibheeshan, Ravan’s younger brother, found the abduction of another man’s wife and imprisoning her in a garden unacceptable. He tried his best to reason with Ravan and convince him to return Sita back. However, Ravan did not like Vibheeshan’s opposition and his arguments in favor of Ram, and in anger, expelled his brother from the kingdom. Later, Hanuman gave Vibheeshan the much-needed courage to override his love for his brother and his desire to serve him and join forces with Ram. He urged him to fight for dharma, not against it. In the end, after Ravan was defeated, Vibheeshan became the king of Lanka and ruled in accordance with dharma, taking good care of his people.

What can we learn from this? In the grand scheme of things, it is dharma, not loyalty, that defines and uplifts humanity. This is why the person who walks on the path of truth and dharma in spite of social pressure and negative external influences is revered by the whole world and becomes a worthy recipient of God’s blessings.

Today, as you go through different events and start thinking about their meanings and the decisions you need to make, remember this: the right thing to do always comes from conscious thinking. From our reasoned choice. It's not about getting a reward or being successful, but about making the right choice. When faced with a difficult decision, take a moment to pause and think clearly. Consider your values and principles. Ask yourself if the choice aligns with what you believe is right and just.

Rewards and success can be tempting, but they shouldn't be the deciding factors. They can cloud your judgment and lead you down a path that might not be true to who you are. Instead, focus on making decisions that you can be proud of, that reflect your best self.

In the end, what matters is not the outcome, but the integrity of the choices you make. Trust in your ability to reason and choose wisely. This way, you can navigate life with confidence and peace of mind, knowing that you did what was right, no matter the result.