Honesty in intention

Bruce Lee once said, “the function and duty of a quality human being
is the sincere and honest development of one’s potential”.
My understanding of these words have changed over the course of the
few years i’ve had while interpreting it, and has changed once again
after learning more about yoga. At the very beginning I had seen this
as a statement of responsibility to the service of others. I thought
that you should constantly be working to be a better “you” so that at any
given time the world would be getting the finest and best “you”.
I created a scenario in my mind that made this concept easier to
grasp. In many parts of the world, knowing how to perform CPR is not
just a skill, it’s also a form of responsibility. If you happen to
come across a person in urgent need of CPR and you (someone who knows
how to perform CPR) does not attempt CPR to save this person’s life,
you may actually in some way be criminally responsible for the
person’s death. This was the way I linked “development of potential”
and “duty”, these two meanings together. If you are capable and have
the opportunity to benefit others (in this case learn how to perform
CPR), then you owe it to the people in the future who may need you to
learn it. Obviously, we as humans are capable of learning how to do
many things, how could we know what skill would be required in the
future? What do you do? The answer for me was just to constantly work
towards personal development in a positive direction, one that would
possibly enable me to serve others in some way.
For a long time this made plenty of sense to me, and that’s how I
approached difficult decisions in my life. I asked myself, will this
particular path be of some worth to myself and others in the future?
Is it working towards the development of my potential?
Recently after taking TTC, I came back to this quote, and realized
there was more to it than just what I had interpreted. The words
“sincere” and “honest” became more important than they were before.
How do I make development sincere and honest?
I found the answer while doing Yoga asanas. During the asana practice
“honesty” and “sincerity” was determined by the intention of the
practice itself. Was I doing the yoga to develop me, or was I doing it
to develop an image of me? Although there are similarities between the two, and perhaps
would have a very similar looking result, there is a fundamental
difference that only you yourself will know. It is the purity of the
intention to practice that makes the practice sincere or dishonest. Now
when I look back at Bruce Lee’s quote, I have a new way of looking at
Every person has a duty to everyone and everything. This duty is not
only merely to give service others, and is not merely just to achieve
something for yourself. This duty’s success or failure is not defined
by the quality and quantity of the result, it is
defined by the honesty in the intention to be better for you and everyone around you.

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