Then profit and loss, victory and defeat
Then gird thyself for battle
Thus wilt thou bring no evil on thyself"
--The Bhagavad Gita
Some will say that this sounds insane. Pleasure and pain the same? Wouldn't that make it impossible to learn? Without fear, how could we avoid damage? Wouldn't our foes hurt us again and again? What madness?
Well...what I will say is that this is not a philosophy for children, who need such safety rails. Fear is useful, until you've learned the lesson it carries. At that point, you can step away from the fear, or disassociate from it. When a child, you fear the dog, not wishing to be bitten. As an adult, I do not fear the bite, but I would prefer not to accept the pain. I wish to avoid landing on a hotel-heavy Boardwalk or Park Place, but I'm not "afraid" of it. Monopoly is a game I have agreed to play. And so is life.
I totally understand one who feels that the concept of moving between pleasure and pain, profit and loss, will place their dream at risk. But what I saw decades ago that when I met someone who had balanced excellence in mind, body, and emotions they simply did not relate to these things as did the average person. They spoke of "awakening" from their misconceptions. Of "maturing" from their fears and illusions. Christian or Buddhist, Muslim or atheist, there was a commonality to their language and perceptions. They were walking the same road, and recognized one another as they did...
While those who were NOT balanced in those ways were much more likely to cling to labels, castes, prejudices, fears...and consider them wisdom. The more they were imbalanced, the more likely they were to believe in things they could not prove, and judge other humans harshly thereby.
Those who seemed to have found a secret to playing the game of life were hugely likely to be playing by different rules. More loving and expansive rules. They might be of whatever political orientation, but they declined to play the game of "my team is better than yours" as a game for children, and sleeping children, at that.
The Gita uses the metaphor of life as a battlefield, and speaks to the need to do all we can, every day, without ever succumbing to the illusion that it has some intrinsic meaning. Not being attached to the results. Man oh man, does that ever resonate with the needs of art: to give everything we have to the path, without being attached to success, money, or praise. And martial arts: to train with all your heart every day, but enter combat having thrown your life away already, carelessly, like the least trifle.
To give all you have to your children, knowing that you have no right to demand anything at all in return...but being grateful beyond words when they, as adults, offer love and respect freely.
The door to power is abandoning the quest for power. For excellence, abandoning the desire for fame or fortune.
Children need the training wheels of guilt and fear and ambition. At some point we must simply be who we are, do what we do, and simply let the world be what it is. And if we have done the earlier work properly, acting without expectation will be the most sublime performance of which we are capable. And that is enough.
One day, one hour, one moment at a time, seek to be the best you can be, until you can be nothing less. Until the truth of your path, and self, is revealed.
At that point, you too will listen to the children, and smile.