It is true, there will be times when no one believes in you.
There will be times when the only thing you can rely on is yourself.
There will be times when you have to trust yourself — to have faith in nothing more than yourself.
This is what it takes to make a leap toward the goal.
But be careful that you don’t take yourself too seriously in this self-trusting process.
As I first began to learn that the world does not have my best interest in mind — as I learned that to grow, I must learn how to self-sustain in order to remain free from the unpredictable upheavals of the world, I found immense strength and confidence in myself.
I discovered that I could do this.
I could step outside the sheepfold and make my own way in this world.
Confidence — growing confidence.
When my ideas worked, when my inclinations were validated by those I looked up to, when I took a step forward in spite of difficulties, my sense of significance grew.
The first obstacle you must overcome is how you believe yourself to be — after this you can move on to dealing with the world.
My confidence rising, my sense of significance strengthening, I began to take myself seriously.
Be careful, I should have warned myself, don’t take yourself too seriously.
My phone reminds me about 5-times a day that my life will end sooner or later.
The only notifications allowed on my phone are those that tell me not to forget about my imminent death.
If you’ve spent time in my life, you’ve noticed the seeming levity with which I regard death.
I have stated previously how I believe death to be a fundamental aspect of a good life.
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An unending awareness of life and joy coupled with death and suffering is a perspective for a life-lived-well.
It is my opinion that to shun death and treat it as the boogieman which must not be named is to forego living well.
Many people are confused by my manner of accepting death and making it a regular aspect of my life. I think about death in order to relieve stress from busy, smothering moments of life. I remind myself of my inevitable demise when making difficult decisions on how to spend my time.
This lighthearted acceptance and inclusion of death into all areas of my life comes across as strange to many.
My behavior seems paradoxical. To include death so fully in what I think living means is at first glance strange, to say the least.
And, in fact, perhaps it is.
But as others have stated,
“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald
I believe the holding of paradoxical perspectives can be one of the best ways to move forward in life
In this same way, I am learning to both take myself seriously enough to be capable of self-sustaining, while also continually reminding myself not to take myself too seriously.
This paradox is an essential ingredient to how I want to conduct my life.
I remember my first experience tacking in a sailboat in order to make headway through oncoming wind. The maneuver requires that the boat seek to advance in two opposing directions in order to make progress in a third direction, the real goal, which lies hidden behind the will of the wind.
A healthy internal paradox like that of taking yourself seriously enough to be reliable while also not taking yourself too seriously resembles a sailboat tacking into the wind.
Two different actions, two different forces, together make possible a way forward.
While the sailboat may be able to move about without tacking, in order to move toward its goal beyond the wind, it must tack — it must straddle and harness two separate and opposing forces to create one single outcome: moving toward its goal.
“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”
— John A. Shedd
Many boats with incredible potential never set sail for the open sea. They never brave that ocean for which they were intended. They prefer the safety of their harbor moorings.
Some do leave the harbor only to lose their course and be blown about aimlessly and wildly by the winds of this world.
The ship that grasps the necessity of straddling and harnessing two separate and opposing forces to create one single outcome, moving toward its goal, this ship braves, and cuts purposefully through, the buffeting sea.
Taking myself seriously gets me out of the harbor.
Simultaneously refraining from taking myself too seriously allows me to set and maintain a progressive course toward my goal.
Don’t take yourself too seriously. But don’t expect to leave the harbor without doing precisely that.
Be paradoxical and sail purposefully.