Do we need to judge on merit? Why do we inflict this on ourselves?

Meritocracy; A word from Latin and Greek roots, a meritocracy vests power and recognition on those who have talents, are achievers, make an effort and win success.

By contrast, if someone is not talented, successful and achieving then more and more they are seen by modern society as failures.

Just as an elephant could not climb a tree, so we are not all born (in fact few are) to be successful achievers with talent and power.

And yet more and more people yearn for fame and success at the expense of a life well-lived.

We feel we have failed if we are poor if we do not measure up to social expectations of achievement.

Why do we inflict this on ourselves?

Anxiety about status and fear of failure grips us in its negative and often downward cycle.

And yet we wonder why emotional and mental poor health is rapidly increasing.

Why do we do this to ourselves. Believe me, there is another way.

We can avoid much of the stress and anxiety if we practice Kindness and Acceptance of ourselves.

It has become harder and harder to accept and live with gratitude for the way we are, and for those things we have, and which are all around us.

And yet without we make life hard and judge ourselves harshly.

We are already unique –every single one of us. We are already special in our own way. We may not have fame or have achieved a hugely successful career.

Does that really matter?

No. What matters is our ability to see the beauty around us, to find pleasure in the simplest of acts or things around us.

And to practice gratitude for all that we are.

The world is a wonderful place.

If you have ever stood under the stars or listened to early morning birdsong, then you have just a glimpse of its riches.

So, for your own sake, take time to notice what is around you, to breathe the fresh air and see the seasons unfolding.

Be kind to yourself, and take strength from your uniqueness.

Notice the good things that happen, the times when you could say,‘thank you’ –to others, to the universe, for the small things that make you smile.

It is not difficult, its just that we have mostly lost the practice.

It is about appreciating the moment, reminding ourselves of the positive things in our lives. And not letting worry crowd them out.

You can find joy in a walk in the park or woods, noticing and really listening to music –all sorts of things can be your source.

Try to take just four or five minutes out of each day to empty your mind of those days to day concerns, and just concentrate on everything positive and good, however small.

I promise you, it gets easier with practice.

If you like you can keep a gratitude journal, many people do. There is a template in Resources.

And remind yourself that power, success and fame are not the sources of self-worth or happiness –these come from within.