"You are the master of your own life; you are the master of your own future." --Gautama the Buddha
One of many quotes from the retreat whose basic message is: you create your reality.
What the Buddha is saying here is that we decide each day, each moment what kind of life we want to live by HOW we live it. By how we act. By how we think. By how we treat others. By how we treat ourselves.
Decide what kind of life you want to live and then plant the seeds of that life.
At the retreat S.N. Goenka told a story during one of the nightly video-taped discourses, about a man who planted seeds from the Neem tree (known for its bitter fruit) on his land. When the tree grew and began to produce fruit he was very upset that the fruit it produced was bitter and not sweet like sugar cane.
Of course we are meant to laugh at this man for his foolishness, but are we any different?
We lie, we cheat, we steal (in large or in small ways), we give into anger and then we want life to reward us with people who tell us the truth, deal honestly with us in business and speak kindly to us.
But that's just not the way it works.
We reap what we sow, either in this lifetime or another. Better to sow seeds of love, compassion, truth and kindness and reap the sweet fruit of these virtues than to sow anger, hatred and lies and reap the bitter fruit of those seeds.
In this way we truly become the master of our own life; the master of our own future.