My two bosses enter my office. They close the door. Their backs seem straighter than usual. They slowly sit down in front of me. I receive an awkward smile. Because today is the day I got the login codes and the key, they have a list of remarks for me. Some are positive, some are negative. I agree with most of them. There is one, however, which somehow comes too close.
“Your discipline is your only friend.” It is one of the sayings written on Yogi tea bags: wisdom has a brand these days. My friend Madelon told me about this quote a few years ago, and it has intrigued me ever since. If it’s written on a tea bag then there must be some kind of truth in it.
I usually forget it instantly when people give comments about my clothes. But these people oblige me to change something about them. They are afraid that other colleagues might start talking about me. Not in the good way.
My interpretation of the saying on the Yoga tea is this. Our happiness lies in the extent to which we are able to discipline our own attention. To learn to master thoughts requires constant alertness on where they are running off to. It demands constant calling your attention back, not allowing yourself to be carried away by subjects of no importance. This way you can freely give your attention to the matter or the mind that deserves it.
Concerning my clothes: as long as they look nice, they keep me warm and they don’t shut off my veins, I am a happy fellow. I’ll change some aspects, no problem. What saddens me is that people force such mundane things upon each other. And what’s worse: the reason people mind, is that they think that other people mind. Who does, actually?