Don’t doubt yourself…or what I tell you.
You’re doing well….I know you are.
In my April 1 post I listed the general philosophical things I do to live a productive, healthy, positive, and happy life.
Some of you wrote and said you don’t grasp the significance of what I meant by telling you that I remind myself what I am, a human being. You don’t understand what I mean by telling you to keep this foremost in mind, or how doing so is going to do anything to help you with creating change in your life or help you handle negative circumstances you are, right now, contending with.
I’m not surprised anymore by the ignorance. I was for a long time. For years, whenever I’ve been asked for a bit of inspiration or life advice, I always end and begin with telling the individual to concentrate most on what they are, what abilities and potential this thing they are has, and that what they are makes all things possible. Rarely does anyone get the significance of what I mean. Unfortunately, there is greater evidence than my own personal experiences to prove it. The multimillion (maybe Billion) self-help and self-improvement industry is subsidized by people’s inability to grasp the importance of focusing on what they are, too. Aside from all the various and different practical tricks and gimmicks each uniquely styled and flamboyant peddler includes in the products they produce, there is one fundamental condition in evey single one of these products that the user must meet, yet the majority fail, time and time again. This condition is grasping what it means to be what you are and realizing that at some point and time “help” and “empowerment” depend on “self.” Only you can help and empower yourself, and you do that by understanding, using and putting into action the human being that you are.
The human being is the rational animal. Being the rational animal means you have a mind capable of rationality, which means you have the faculty of “reason,” which gives you the capacity for intelligence to figure things out about yourself, other people and the world you live in. It gives you the ability to understand and be understood, acquire and learn knowledge. Reason gives you the capacity to act in accordance with reality, gives you the power to distinguish truth from falsehood, right from wrong, what works from what does not work, and use these judgments to make choices that guide the direction of your life. Bottomline, your mind — your rational mind — is your most basic means of survival.
Before you casually dismiss what I am explaining to you here, because you are unfamiliar with the terms or think it is all over your head, beyond your comprehension, or you think it’s a bunch of philosophical gibberish you don’t need to understand, let me try to get your attention another way.
Do you know that your freedom in this country is derived from this one single idea — that you are a rational animal? Is that simple and important enough to get your attention? I thought so.
Where in the Declaration of Independence it states that “all men are created equal,” what do you think that means? How are all men created equal? We — all men — are created equal by virtue of the fact that we are all created as rational animals. That’s it. Nothing else. That is the one single thing that makes men created equal. The Founders didn’t put “all men are created equal” in the Declaration just because it sounded good. They put it in there because it means exactly what I am telling you it does.
So, now that you know, what is it you don’t understand about that what you are — a human being, the rational animal – is indeed what you do need to depend on first to make your life work, create and change the circumstances of your life. Your mind gives you the power to control the direction of your life. It gives you the sole authority to handle your life.
I think it’s interesting to point out that of all the excuses people use to explain their failings at properly and effectively conducting their lives, no one ever tries to get away with: “I don’t have a mind.” People will defend themselves by claiming, “I lost my mind,” I lost control of my mind, and, “I was out of my mind,” but no one tries “I don’t have a mind.”
Remind yourself what you are. Over and over. Toward thinking, knowing and believing how you can, there is nothing more important. Nothing.