The most important thing in life is getting to know oneself — finding oneself. It’s a funny concept, isn’t it? How does one find oneself when physically you have never left yourself? Or have you, but just haven’t noticed? Maybe you are one of the lucky few that doesn’t need to spend your life searching for what makes you you.
But do such people exist? Is not the purpose of life, finding or developing oneself to the best possible self one could be — their true self. Logically speaking, it seems wrong to say that a person can be his or her true self if there is a better version of themselves that they can become.
If there is a better version of you that you can become, how can it be possible that the more flawed, lazy, unsuccessful version that you currently are is more you than the successful, energetic, happy person that you could be?
Our true selves lie in the versions of ourselves that are constantly striving to be better, to achieve more and to add to humanity. No one is perfect nor ever will be, but striving to be better is what makes life worth living and is what will lead you to true happiness. Unfortunately, most of us are at a loss when it comes to figuring out the steps that need to be taken to reach a higher state of self.
What it comes down to is the fact that being human means having limits. In order to know how far you can go, you have to outline those limits — the only way to do this is to push yourself to your limits and continue to do so until your limits reach your ceiling and you can no longer improve.
Whether or not such limits exist is an argument in itself. Nevertheless, finding said limits take a lifetime, so there is no need to worry about improving too quickly; there will always be more that can be done.
All of this talk about doing more, improving more, becoming better — all of this talk of more, more, more is actually counterproductive. The true secret to everything in life — whether it be happiness, health, love or bettering oneself — is keeping things simple, keeping things at a minimal.
We have so much extra baggage that we carry around with us throughout our lives that it is no wonder that we have so much trouble improving and getting to where we want to be. Life is hard enough without having to lug around an extra 50 lbs of useless garbage. This garbage takes many, endlessly different forms. Basically, anything that you have in surplus and anything that is useful for something other than living in its simplest form, weighs you down.
Have you ever tried only living? All it takes is for you to be breathing and for your heart to be beating — that’s all. Nothing more, nothing less. All your thoughts, all the things that you know, all the activities that you do, all you see, hear, smell — all of it is one big extravagance; it’s not a necessity. Nothing is necessary for your existence other than existing itself.
If you want to find out who you are, what you are made of, you need to meet yourself at your most basic form. Sure, you can argue that all these additions — your thoughts, beliefs and hobbies — are what make you who you are. That’s true; all of these things do differentiate you from all the other people in the world. But you already know what makes you different from everyone else.
That does not, however, mean that you know who you really are. If you want to find yourself, you need to find out what does not differentiate you from the rest of the world; you need to be introduced to what connects you to everyone else — what makes you part of the world.
To do so, you need to let go. Let go of whatever it is that ties you down to your routine. Understandably, we can’t all just quit our jobs and vacation for the rest of our lives. We can, however, make sure not to take our work home with us after we leave the office.
We can stay home alone instead of going out to meet up with friends for drinks. We don’t need to meet up with our boyfriends, girlfriends, lovers, mistresses, booty-calls, f*ck-buddies or hookers. We don’t need to watch TV, watch movies, read, exercise, clean or anything else. In order for us to meet ourselves we must cut out all that is in excess of life itself. I am sure that most of you are finding this to be miserable — and for an extended period of time I am sure it is.
Human beings are not built to live in such isolation — in such solitude. We are meant to socialize and work together. What I am suggesting is not a way of life, but a method that can be practiced regularly on a week-to-week basis that will allow you to find yourself. You, the real you in your most basic form, is the you that doesn’t need anything more to live than the sustenance necessary for life.
There is a reason why you hear all of these success stories about people having to hit rock bottom before being able to find themselves and being able to grow and flourish: for anyone to be truly successful, they must know themselves first. The only way to get to know yourself is to cut out all the excess fat.
You could follow the footsteps of those that have lost everything because fate decided that that was the only way for them to start to live the life they were meant to live — but it won’t be pleasant. The people that have lost everything before bouncing back did not enjoy their situation. Being in that situation involuntarily is not comforting in the least.
The only way to find yourself — to find out what you are made of and what really makes you tick — is to let go of everything. Hopefully you will be willing to do it on your own watch; when fate forces such a situation upon you, it is only accompanied by pain and sorrow.
Paul Hudson | Elite.
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