To Know Yourself, Know What You Believe In

by Paul Hudson

How well do you know yourself? Seems like a ludicrous question to ask. We spend the entirety of our lives being the people that we are, so to think that a person could not know himself though he has been interacting with himself his entire life, seems preposterous.

Yet most people have no idea who they are or what they are capable of. If you don’t know who you are — what you are made of — then you should not expect to accomplish much in your life. It’s basically the same as trying to do business in an industry while refusing to learn about that industry; you will not be successful.

Knowledge truly is power, so if you want to be successful — whether it be in business or in life — you have to fully understand what exactly it is that you are working with. You have to learn your strengths, but more importantly be introduced to your weaknesses.

You need to meet you. But where to start? Preferably, at the beginning, at the most basic of basics that make up who we are as people — those things that give us character. If you want to get to know yourself, you must understand the principles that you hold. You must have a clear understanding of what you believe in.

What do you believe in? It’s a simple enough question. I’m not asking whether you believe that tomorrow the sun will rise, or whether you believe that Santa Clause still puts those presents under your Christmas tree, signing your name in your mother’s handwriting. Nor am I asking you if you believe that 20 bucks is a pretty damn good deal for a handjob.

We all know that depends on whether or not that includes the price of lubricant. But seriously, what beliefs do you hold that govern the way you live? In my experience, few people consider whether or not the things that they do align with the maxims they believe.

Even fewer stop to consider whether or not they have maxims in the first place. Do you have maxims, laws, that help guide you through life? Or are you a part of the masses that trudge through life with their eyes only turned outward?

Logically speaking, there is a right way to do something and then there is a wrong way to do it. The question then becomes: what is right and what is wrong? We could get into a lengthy discussion of the ethics behind these morals, but such a discussion would be better formatted as a debate rather than an one sided article. Generally speaking, and for the purpose of this article, right and wrong are relative terms.

One could take the route of arguing that something can be wrong in itself, but when looked at closely, that something can only be considered wrong if it is put alongside a certain law, rule, belief or maxim that we believe to be right. Let’s take the concept of right versus wrong when looking at the actions that we take everyday. How is one to determine whether an action is a correct action, or a wrong one?

Forget the conventional meaning of right and wrong — focus on whether or not your actions are in line with the laws that you personally hold true. Do the things that you do make sense according to how you believe you ought to live? Are the things you do in line with that which you personally hold as a truth for yourself?

The only way to answer this is to understand the laws you have created for yourself. Or, and it may very well be the case, come to the realization that you have failed to set any maxims for yourself whatsoever.

We all need to have a set of maxims governing the way we live. These maxims are essentially going to take the form of our beliefs. That which we believe is the blueprint for what we hold to be the ideal reality — reality perfected. I never could understand how people were capable of living out their days without ever stopping to consider whether their actions are logically aligned with what they believe to be right — with what they find to be right.

It is not possible to know yourself if you do not know what you believe in. If you do not believe in anything then why are you living? What purpose do you have? Why bother getting up in the morning? If you don’t have maxims that you hold true, that you believe are either the way the world works or the way the world ought to work, then whatever actions you take have no purpose, no direction.

You’re living a life carved with circular paths — a life that that has no end in sight, only random actions leading in all directions. Our beliefs make us who we are. If you are looking for yourself or looking to recreate yourself, start with your beliefs.

What is the most basic set of truths that you believe you ought to base the rest of your life on? What unwavering maxims define who you are as a person and will help keep you on course as you traverse the rolling hills of your journey?

Define what it is that you believe and by doing so, define who you are, who you want to be and why it is that you do what you do. Before you can have purpose, you need a foundation to lay it upon. Before you decide where it is that you want to go, figure out why you are bothering to go there to begin with.

Consider what it is that you hold true and that you will continue to hold true for the ret of your life. The more basic and simplistic the maxim, the more likely it will continue to ring true for the extent of your life’s journey. Believe in something — it will show you the light at the end of the tunnel when you are in most desperate need of guidance.

Paul Hudson | Elite.

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