14 Oct Know Thyself
Self-help is one of my favorite genre of books because I’m a lunatic. No, not really. It may or may not come as a surprise to people, but we seriously do not know the first thing about who we are. I’m not talking about what our favorite color or what our favorite foods are. I’m talking about deeper levels of learning — the reasoning behind why we have a constant need to criticize others about their thunder thighs. Why we have to put a facade and act all tough when you actually look like a fool. Or why you can never be happy for anyone else and only wish to talk about your weekend. Bitch.
We’ve all done it because guess what? We’re not perfect. So I forgive you.
But let’s take a moment and imagine a beautifully renovated home that includes everything you ever dreamed of — open-concept, high ceilings, crown moldings, wood floors, a pool, you name it! To let’s say, Johnny, it may just be the home of his dreams. What Johnny isn’t seeing is the foundation of the home. Even though the home provided his family more than enough space and comfort, it was built on a poor foundation. The home only lasted a few years before it fell apart and everyone was sad and homeless (a bit dramatic, but just go with it).
Here’s my point. Just like homes, we need to have a strong foundation because it is the root of our being. We can “fake it ’til we make it” all we want, but that only lasts so long. If you’re going to act tough in front of everyone when deep down you really have a low self-esteem, it’s going to eventually show. The next time you can’t be happy for someone else when they buy a new shiny scooter, ask yourself, am I jealous? Then dig up the reason why you might feel jealousy. Is it because you were orphaned as a child and you couldn’t afford a scooter? Or is it because you never got the attention growing up? Whatever it is, there is going to be a root cause.
The root is what you’re going to want to work on. It’s not going to be easy — it’s going to take a lot of practice in accepting and letting go, but it will get easier each time. Once you’ve taken care of the root, all the issues that stem from it will diminish. And once that happens you’ll be happy for your friend with the new scooter, build better friendships, live a happier life overall, and spread the happiness to those around you. A mere ripple effect.
When you give love, you get love.
That’s just one example, but it works for so many other things. If the very core of you feels incompetent to fulfill a task at work, your mind will eventually agree. Next thing you know, you’re giving the wrong medication to your patient. You get the idea.
So how can I not love self-help books? They provide us knowledge that we otherwise ignore and spend the majority of our lives trying to figure out. Self-knowledge allows us to build a stronger inner-self so that we can perform at our best. It gives us a better understanding of who we are, which gives us a clear vision of our purpose in life. When we can picture what we want out of life, we can utilize our years chasing after the right things. Self-knowledge allows you to face your deep-rooted doubts and insecurities. Self-knowledge is the beginning of wisdom.
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