Sunday, May 18, 2008

A little bit every day

Sometimes people admire me for my flexibility in ballet class. Pretty
much invariably I tell them that that is nothing really amazing. It's
just a matter of a little bit every day. When you do some stretches
every day, you will most surely progress. In fact, that is true for
almost everything. Simple, sustained effort is that what will pay off
in the long run. One thing that made me even more aware of that is my
impending thesis defense. Suddenly 4.5 years of hard work will by
culminated by a thesis defense. Writing a thesis is pretty much like
running a marathon--it requires sustained effort. It also requires
making sure that you are healthy and happy, because otherwise it will
not happen. That reminds me of the definition of the Buddhist precept
of "diligence": to find joy in what is virtuous and wholesome. The joy
is very important too. There is something about being joyous at what
you do, in every little bit of effort, that will make it all in the
end work out into something much larger. But it is the simple joy that
will allow you to keep going, every day. Also to focus on just that
one day prevents you from having too much fear about whether you can
do it or not. Instead you can just trust that some day, it will
happen, and it will. So really, a little bit of effort every day is
what does miracles.

This picture shows me on campus, in front of the famous LOVE
sculpture, together with a friend who shares my name (her first name
is also Marieke). It also shows the beauty of spring.

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