I have always believed that the hardest thing to do in this life is to get to know yourself.
I suppose there are a lot of egotistical people who would disagree with me on that, and Lord knows there are a lot of highly self-involved people on the planet at the moment.
When I talk about getting to know yourself, I’m not referring to things like your favourite food or movie or whatever it is you like to do.
It’s more about the things that you feel deeply. What drives you. What you crusade for. What you really want your life to be like…Stuff like that.
I have always had a hard time getting a handle these sort of things. In fact, this is the first time that I can remember even thinking about it. And I’m not really even sure what triggered the thought in the first place.
Most of my life has been spent doing and thinking about stuff I was getting paid to think about. There was (and still is) a lot of that. And I enjoyed the hell out of it.
But just recently, like over the past year or so, as the realization that working was not anywhere near the necessity it used to started to invade my psyche, some of my thinking turned inward.
Lucky Dog Me
One of the first things that occurred to me when I started to take the time to think about myself was that I had been, for pretty much all of my adult life, damn lucky.
I had a great advertising agency career and an even better second career as an independent.
I married the right woman and didn’t fuck that up. I had two kids that both still talk to me and are now well adjusted, successful and happy adults. I have never had any health issues that couldn’t be managed.
I have maintained great relationships with my brother and sisters. I have never been arrested, (although the Drumph administration might have something to say about that if I ever go to America again). And I have never grown tired of writing, paid or otherwise.
So does that make me someone who knows himself? I don’t know.
I guess one way to define yourself is by the things you have come to believe. I have come to believe quite a few things and have sort of kept track of them.
The Stuff I Believe (In no particular order)
• I believe we really are all put here for a reason, but that relatively few of us ever get to realize that purpose.
• I believe that family is the most important thing in this life. This became crystal clear the first time I was given my 2 minute old son Daniel to hold.
• I believe there are things we cannot control about the way the world works and I have spent years learning not to be frustrated by that.
• I believe the things you believe are worth doing in this life are the things you should always work hardest at.
• I believe in sharing ideas freely and allowing myself to be inspired by other peoples’ ideas.
• I believe that there is evil in the world and working to fight it while not getting consumed by it is the tightrope that a lot of us walk.
• I believe that everybody has an agenda, even me. And that my agenda is to try my best to do the right thing whenever possible.
• I believe that people overwhelmingly good, but that the relatively few bad ones and the attention they garner makes it sometimes feel like it’s the other way round.
• I believe that the basic goodness in people is what keeps the world from being torn to shreds.
• I believe that love is a much more powerful force on earth than hate. And that we are in the early stages of a great resurgence of that axiom in our society.
• I believe that capitalism has been hijacked and is now, very obviously being controlled by extremely greedy people. But I also believe that this is a pendulum that will soon swing back the other way. It’s what pendulums do.
• I believe that communication is the key to understanding and the better we are at the former the more we will benefit from the latter.
• I believe that all religions have much more in common than anyone cares to admit.
• I believe that the human race is one thing with many facets to make it interesting.
• I believe you can achieve whatever you set out to achieve in life if you are willing to do the work that is required.
• I believe in the value of friends and the reality of enemies, the power of persuasion and the right to change your mind based on new information.
• Finally, I believe it’s important to be able to look in the mirror and actually like the person you see there.
Not everybody will share these beliefs. Because the great paradox of humanity is that even though we are all the same we are all different.
But in any case, it’s always a good thing to have a handle on what you believe.|
This has been a great intellectual exercise for me and it took quite a while to put this list together and I’m sure there’s more stuff that should be on it. I had to dig down quite a ways.
If you share some of these beliefs that’s good. If you have your own set of beliefs, write them down and keep them close, and add to them as you go.
You’ll be surprised at how much it can contribute to your health and well being.
The world we live in right now is pretty much as crazy as it has ever been. But your own fate is always going to be controlled and determined by what you believe about yourself and about the world around you. That will not change no matter what.
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