Those who really understand themselves are very difficult to trap. Conversely, it is easy to trick and bring down those who have no knowledge of their limitations. All that is required is to lay a trap in their path and they will fall right into it. This often happens to people who believe they possess infinite ability. So look at your strengths and weakness, as well as those of people around you. When you arrive at an obstacle, simply think of it as a mater of controlling your desires. Moderation is the key.
Controlling your desires and being content with moderate and gradual progress means you will rarely experience major failure. Excessive desire is referred to as “attachment”, and it is only by getting rid of attachments that ultimate happiness can be achieved. This is a path to happiness that is open to everyone.
In many cases people are happier if they never achieve what they desire. For example, many elected officials aspire to lead their countries one day, but for most, it will turn out better for them if this never happens. Once a person has achieved the highest office, that politician is beset with comments about what he does and doesn’t do; the leader is criticized for trifling matters and wonders why this should be…Imagine not being able to walk out of your house unless you are surrounded on all sides by guards. In the end, what is seen as an unparalleled honour can lead to the greatest happiness.
The same can be said of everyone’s desires. For example, people who are successful in their careers will probably have difficulty being the best husbands or wives. Some people feel unhappy because their children do not appear to be very bright, while other parents whose children are brilliant lose the ability to converse with them, leading to inadequacy and sadness.
We face limitations, but we have none. The causes of our limitations are found within us, but their boundaries are often set by other people’s objective opinions. If you feel you are unable to get ahead in life, despite all your efforts up to now, you may need to look at yourself more objectively.