Buddhism is not pessimism or demotivating, thinking so is a misunderstanding. It may seem so because many ancient and modern monks and nuns seem to live a reclusive life without need to strive in this busy world. It might seem so because of the teachings of Middle Way, which "seem" to discourage anything "active" such as determination and perseverance that you mentioned. But this is not true.
In different scenario and environment the practice is different. Modern people, laymen have to work for a living. A true Buddhist works hard, because he knows that's his responsibility to be fulfilled. Buddhism is not a dead dogma, it is alive, can be applied to everyday life, including your work. As you might agree, on the path to enlightenment, or even to maintain consistent daily practice, requires determination. To become Buddha one must excel oneself, to surpass one's weaknesses or bad habits. And from this perspective, those good qualities that you mentioned are essential to Buddhism. "Desire" for enlightenment is different from desire for sex and money that make one's life unbalanced. Don't fall for the "philosophically correct" interpretation of Buddhism, which may tell you that all those good qualities are also extremes to be abandoned in the goal of Middle Way. Al <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote: From: "donald hwong" <> Contentment is not satisfaction and not joy. Contentment is a state of want-nothing. >>if we could put our best foot forward to let go our > reaction to the effects of all existing forms, not be affected by it, > just accept as is, we end our suffering.>> If we want nothing, then why will we want to put our best foot forward? I think if Buddhism had become the predominant religion of the world, we would all be living in huts and caves right now. That might not be a bad thing, but to some degree buddhism is demotivating and defuses desire, ambition, determination, perseverence, and many other qualities that are essential for success in society. Is Buddhism for people who are vegetables, or is it just a tool to reduce stress? --------------------------------- Be a better Globetrotter. Get better travel answers from someone who knows. Yahoo! Answers - Check it out.