A man who I went to high school with (I only knew him as a boy), recently killed himself with a fire arm. I found myself thinking very hard about what made him feel that his life was so bad that he needed to end it all. He was young and had two successful children. It made me realize how short life is, how valuable our relationships are, but more importantly for the purpose of this post, it made me remember that I need to love myself before I can love others and that if it means giving myself some latitude (while still striving to be on the top), so be it.
In closing, love yourself, hug your loved ones, hug your pets, hug your horses, and revel in all the good things in life (our time is short-don't waste it). Good things come with hard work and determination, they come with planning, by being particular, and with extreme perseverance. Being overly critical (which differs from being particular) is a form of self-sabbotage and will get you nothing but stress, feelings of defeat, and failure.
"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.” - Thomas Merton