Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.
I love the idea of Tapas. Enough so, that I have a tattoo, written in Sanskrit, on my body. Below are a few excerpts on Tapas from, Inside the Yoga Sutras, by Reverend Jaganath Carrera, I'd like to share.
Tapas is not resignation, a passive submission to the sorrows of life, it is the embracing of pain as friend and teacher.
...to be free, we need to overcome our limitations. They need to be exposed, examined, and uprooted.
Tapas helps uncover hidden shortcomings by forcing them to surface in the conscious mind. Taken with the right understanding, suffering can bring forth the effort to overcome limitations. It also stimulates introspection and inspires creativity.
In the name of tapas, seekers expend great energy struggling to reconcile their beliefs with their own shortcomings and the disappointing realities of life. But the struggle is not fruitless; it brings us to a deeper self-knowledge and a truer understanding of life.
Tapas is not simply a patient, if unsettling, wait for painful events to come along so that they can be accepted. It can also be a voluntary act of will, a choice to embark knowingly on a path that might bring discomfort and challenge before producing its benefits.
Tapas also refers to the effort to be regular in the Yoga practices and to live a yogic lifestyle.
...tapas is the embrace of the entirety of life. Tapas is the foundation of an intimate relationships with the Intelligence that animates life. This relationship gives birth to wisdom, the certain knowledge--a steadfast faith--that the peace and joy of the inner Self is stronger and more enduring than an pain that life may bring. Through perfection in tapas, the fear that life is devoid of wisdom vanishes. Wisdom, faith, and fearlessness--these are the fruits of tapas.