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    Something to Think About: Thriving in a state of balance

a person in a work office or lab balancing the world or globe in their hand
Dr. Amit Sood
says, "Harness your fear, greed, and selfishness to serve the world."

Dear friend,

As much as I would like to live an ethical, moral life, I struggle with three of my mind’s predispositions—fear, greed, and selfishness.

I have heard of ideal love that knows no fear—I am not there yet. I have heard of ideal want that seeks only the pious and the just—I am not that altruistic. I have heard of total selflessness—I don’t think I will reach that ideal in this lifetime. I must face the truth. I must accept that I will have fear, greed, and selfishness until the last breath.

This acceptance relieves me. It provides me the perspective to help me redirect my predispositions. “Why shouldn’t I harness my vulnerabilities to enrich my life?” I ask myself.

Why can’t I feel greedy about helping many, fear that I might close my life without meaningfully serving a small corner of the world, and be selfish about growing emotionally and spiritually through becoming a kinder human being?

I believe when my fear, greed, and selfishness surrender to serve of a higher purpose, they will lose their sting. They will then thrive in a state of balance.

That balance for fear means being appropriately cautious—neither frozen in panic nor negligent. For greed it means being fittingly passionate—neither marinated in wants nor apathetic. With selfishness, balance means being pragmatically altruistic—neither egoistic and self-centered nor impractically selfless.

The outcome is that you become fear-less, desire-less, and self-less (not zero fear, desire, or selfishness, but less of it) and thus save tremendous energy to become an agent of service and love.

May you become fear-less, desire-less, and self-less; may you harness your fear, desire, and selfishness to serve a higher purpose.

Take care.
Dr. Sood 2

Read Thriving in a state of balance and previous blog posts.

Also, follow @AmitSoodMD on Twitter.

Dr. Sood is director of research in the Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program on Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus in Minnesota. He also chairs the Mind-Body Medicine Initiative at Mayo Clinic.