Self Mastery

A PLACE BETWEEN HOPE & FEAR

​”Your present circumstances dont determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”

 Nido Qubein
An ever growing world can be a very exciting yet, a scary place. As Margaret wheatley puts it this way,” hope and fear have been in the news .We watch for years as the future disappeared under disabling clouds of fear, then suddenly we again could see the sky,  with hope and the possibility of change”. 

This is pretty much how things have been since humankind had realised consciousness, from periods of great joy and prosperity to times of deep pain and suffering.

The world is a big bad place, a deep mix of both fearful fear and dead devotion. With this thought in mind, Albert Camuss hero-Sisyphus holds voice in each persons heart and as firmly put in his essay “there is but, one truly serious philosophical problem and that is suicide, judging whether life is or is not worth living that is the fundamental question of philosophy”

In the grander scheme, life can be pointless as many existentialists put it, when solid hope is taken away by constant endless evil as our lives will be forgotten and our species being constantly corrupt and violent. 
Despite all this, we should endure none the less. We must cope with whatever we can with whatever we are supposed to do, we must acknowledge the absurd background of our existence and triumph above the constant hopelessness. Life is worth enduring.

 
Once you properly realise the absurdity of life, you may be on the edge of despair but, also have a desire to live life more intensely. When motivated by hope, but then further confronted by fear and failure, we become depressed and demoralised.
 At such a time, we learn the price of hope and the paralysing nature of fear. Rather than inspiring and motivating us, hope has become a burden made heavy by death and all of its friends.

According to Wheatley, to have a meaningful life means, we have to abandon extreme hope, all of us, and learn how to find the place “beyond hope and fear.” She believes this is the present.

Being present should quicken us into action, this is a better way of planning a progressive or self-driven life as this is a first step in creating a meaningful one. We create a clear vision for the future we want, by relating and doing what’s needed to be done instantly now, as this breaks the wall between strategy and action (which can be a big issue for humanity as history evidently repeats itself).

We focus strategically on doing only those things that have a high probability of success and also embrace failure in all its forms. As long as we are present and work smart, our endeavours will at best create the world we want. 
How could we do our work, if we don’t take pride in our work presently?

As Wheatly puts it this way “all fear and hope arise from looking forward or backward.” The present moment is the only place clear to see the uncloudedness done by hope or fear. Both are necessary as tools and not as a master.
 Fear is the necessary consequence of feeling hopeful again. Contrary to our belief that hope and fear are opposites where one trumps the other, they are a single package, bundled together as intimate, eternal partners. You can’t have one without the other.

To be present means mastering both, living life in pain and pleasure, seeing life as worth living, having a purpose, building self-value, self-esteem, overcoming one’s feelings of doubt and shame, having the ability to love and mean it, embracing self-knowledge as an essential to building a future and having the courage to keep fighting. 
Being present makes us make the most out of all moments, small or big, it makes us less self-centred, it makes us learn to care and not be small minded. It makes us appreciate others and ourselves. It ultimately helps us cope with the bad times rather than run or reminisce in the good old days. 

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, nor to anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”

 Buddha

A RACE AGAINST TIME

​“At least three times every day take a moment and ask yourself what is really important. Have the wisdom and the courage to build your life around your answer.”

Lee Jampolsky   

“So much to do, so little time”, many among the common phrases used to express just how little time we have in a busy and progressive world. Strictly speaking, Time management unnoticed to these who advocate anyone and everyone to be time cautious is that at its core, time management is really self-management or an important aspect of self-mastery. 

Managing one’s self means organizing your life in accordance with a purpose or meaning that reflects your own unique individuality. Only in this way can you be said to truly control your own self. Ask yourself what constitutes your ultimate worth and significance of your being and begin to see that time is everything and of the essence. 

Without a reason to keep time, you won’t plan what to do with it. Without a sense of responsibility for the time you have alive, which is obviously minimum – one may not be living but, in truth be unknowingly breathing to death.

Making firm choices about how to give shape to your life is necessary to live as an individual, but being a self still requires more and this means being time cautious, because the meaning you give your life must be unique to you as an individual and be within your sphere of existence, your time space.
 

To succeed at being a self means being noble, which means being time oriented or having a deep sense of time management.

“Now consider the law of supply and demand to see how much those moments of life are worth to you. When you treat death as an event that’s far off and distant from you, you’re clearly reasoning that that you have a decent amount of supply (of life) lying around.”

 
“You’re convinced that even if you’re going to die, it won’t be today or tomorrow or even next week. You see supply as high, so the value of life winds up being low. That’s why the important stuff gets put off. You think you have plenty of time to get back to. You live frivolously.” This in itself isn’t a call to perfection but, a realisation that in the long run each moment does matter.

“If the supply-and-demand theory of life is accurate, the answer is no. The supply of life would go up, infinitely. But if that’s right, the value of life drops infinitely as well! As a consequence, immortality doesn’t sound particularly attractive.”

“Sure, you’d have an infinite amount of time to experience things. But you wouldn’t value the moments. You’d forever put things off. Why not? You could always do the important stuff later. The immortal would live with no zest. No passion. Not for us, thanks! We’ll choose death!” Gregory Gale

It is easy to be swayed by recognizing exterior values or meanings, so to avoid being pushed to and fro, you give yourself a self-created purpose as you use your time and make decisions, make your goals fluid and possible to be achieved as they need to be.
 

Hence the idea of “I have no time” is just in truth poor time management but, ultimately means poor life management or poor self-mastery.

True self-mastery as with time management means deciding what you want to get out of life, what you want to achieve, committing to it and setting forth a road map to do so. 

Heidegger has a way of thinking about your existence as temporal, If being authentic means thinking about your future as aiming toward your eventual death, “What should I do now?” is a question that necessarily requires your conscious involvement in the answer and the act of realization of making your actions to come to life. 

To Heidegger, knowing that your time is finite, you no longer wait but drive forward in an active sense, resolute to forge courageously toward not only your death but by living as an individual in light of the projects you commit to.

Although your future possibilities are fixed in the inauthentic future, in the authentic future they’re open, and you take an active role in determining what they are and this means knowing how to plan your time. Pay attention to the way you’re existing right now. 

Are you just in the moment? Or are you always looking ahead into the future, trying to see where to go next? You’re always reaching ahead of yourself into the next moment. Hence thinking that your past, present and future are distant or individual is a great and common misconception.

Not having a good perception of your time is disowning a large and essential part of yourself. Think about time existentially seems very different; time is central to your way of existing, one in which moments in the past, present, and future are related to one another in the way you experience life as meaningful. Existing for you means living across time.

Being a time keeper means being yourself, your way of existing must strive to live in your past and future specific to you as a self, just as much as your present acts. 

Only in living this way can you hope to succeed in pulling together your whole self and can you really enjoy life in colour, despite time and the human life being very finite as Horace put it: “we are but dust and shadows”.

“Character is the result of two things: mental attitude and the way we spend our time.”

Elbert Hubbard

I Can & I Will

​The French novelist Honore de Balzare says, “Passion is universal humanity. Without it religion, history, romance and art would be useless.” To that the age old question, what does it mean to be passionate?
 A core ingredient in living passionately is finding a cause or giving your life meaning within your individual existence which in truth, you alone are responsible for your own existence.
 The meaning you find for your life should be one you’re willing to work for, commit to, one you have given thought to as you have chosen and might I say, one you would  die for, one you’re willing to embrace and to organize your whole life around. 
To be truly passionate, such a choice must also embrace a degree of mystery or uncertainty. David Hume, a famous 18th-century philosopher, once said about life that “The whole is a riddle, an enigma, an inexplicable mystery.”
To that, living passionately means choosing to be vulnerable in the face of your own life. It means recognizing the insecurity and unpredictable nature of events that surrounds your life choices, but also recognizing that those choices still need to be made with solid resolution and committed force.
This means embracing the power that is in your hands and no one else.
Freedom is an essential part of being this passionate person that you desire. You’re different from the nonhuman creatures that surround you, so the way in which you approach your own life should be seen as different from the way animals approach theirs.
Seen in this way, nonhuman objects, being entirely natural in composition, don’t make choices; they’re not free. You’re a natural being too. Sometimes your movements are dictated by factors in the physical natural world. 
From birth, you don’t pick and choose your race, religion, name, location or type of socialisation or any other general facticity.
In view, one must realise that there are always instances in which you can be self-moving. This intentional action isn’t the result of some set of environmental conditions in the world. When you do act intentionally, which includes deciding how you face up to your impending future-your actions are up to you alone and nothing else.
Your freedom to choose how to act in the present and face the future has limitations placed on it by the world you live in. 
The unique nature of your freedom shows that although you do live in the world and are subject to its influences, you also transcend the world, because you’re not determined by it.
To transcend, to be of passion doesn’t mean that you float above the world like a disembodied spirit. It just means that you can rise above the physical cause and effect explanations that seem to govern nonhuman things. 
Freedom is an essential part of what you are, it’s a facet of your existence that you must cultivate if you’re to live in an honest, truthful, or authentic way. You must be true to this special aspect of what you are. 
This cultivation requires that you take the question of how to face your future and your existence very seriously. Which in turn make up the formation of what it means to be passionate about something.
Because of this shift in reality, a passionate life isn’t just about doing certain specific things. It’s not what you do but, how you do it, how you choose to embrace your existence with your means. The “how” is always more important than the “what”.
It’s up to you to figure out what path, out of all the ones possible for you, to take. After you choose that path, pursue it with hope and engagement, with a fire of lived intensity. As Camus puts it ” Mystery and risk are what give life that weight; they’re the fuel from which the fire of passion burns.”
 By making these kinds of choices and commitments, you can make sure your life embodies the kind of risk that passion thrives on. 
Cultivating a beautiful relationship with your own existence requires you to choose a direction in life that expresses your individuality. 
No two people can share such a direction. Because passion requires that you express your own freedom and subjectivity, you must revolt against allowing your choices and projects to flow from any influences outside your individual nature.
At the most basic level, being passionate means being very aware of the very particular concrete world that you live in. Living passionately means saying ”I can and I will” A passionate life emphasizes how you go about living and not what you end up actually doing.
Understanding a passionate life is to draw the distinction between living as a participator and living as a detached observer.
 Living passionately means cultivating a bond with your own life that doesn’t approach it as a problem to be solved, but as a relationship that you need to involve yourself in and remain open to.
As Kierkegaard once said

 “that the pagan who prays passionately to a false God shows more truth than the Christian who prays falsely to his real God.”

Mind Your Mind

“​Loving yourself and knowing what you what are necessary keys not only to master the art of willpower, or in a better light Self-respect is the fruit of discipline;  the sense of dignity grows with the ability  to say no to ones self.”Abraham Joshua Heschel

The possession of willpower and self-discipline or their lack, play an important role in everyones life. One may have goals, plans and schedule to achieve what is to be gain, in order to reach, reap and bear said fruits, the art of sowing must be known, practiced and mastered.
A general attitude toward the idea is that it is rigid and authoritarian, is centred around the virtues of frugality and saving, and in many ways was hostile to life and there has been an increasing tendency to be suspicious of any discipline,
 and to make undisciplined, lazy indulgence in the rest of one’s life the counterpart and balance for the routinized way of life imposed on us during the eight hours of work, waking up early, hard work, moderation and indulge in unnecessary luxuries.
How does one practice discipline? To get up at a regular hour, to devote a regular amount of time during the day to activities such as meditating, reading, listening to music, walking; not to indulge, at least not beyond a certain minimum, in escapist activities like mystery stories and movies, not to overeat or overdrink are some obvious and rudimentary rules.
 It is essential, however, that discipline should not be practiced like a rule imposed on oneself from the outside, but that it becomes an expression of one’s own will; that it is felt as pleasant, and that one slowly accustoms oneself to a kind of behaviour which one would eventually miss, if one stopped practicing it. The East has recognized long ago that that which is good for manfor his body and for his soulmust also be agreeable, even though at the beginning some resistances must be overcome. Erich Fromm 
Now here is the mountain to climb in the idea of willpower. Leon Seltzer states that The price of discipline is always less than the pain of regret. Surrendering to immediate, self-indulgent attractions or enticements inevitably leads to your becoming subservient to them.
And as a consequence, the likelihood of achieving longer-term goals is seriously undermined. Self-discipline: a willingness to do whatever it takes to reach personally valued goals and objectives, independent of whatever challenges, or unpleasantness, may be linked to the process of attaining them. 
Learning to feel really good about ourselves is a major part of what personal growth and evolution is all about.  And our progress in this venture requires us to become more adult in our thinking. 
Giving up pursuing transient feelings of euphoria and instead seek out those things that culminate in far-more-lasting positive feelings about self is one that will also boost our self-esteem. And it will promote a self-love that is totally separate from any mere narcissistic gratification.  
Self-discipline is an act of cultivation. It requires you to connect todays actions to tomorrows results. Theres a season for sowing and reaping, minding your mind helps you know which is which.

No one is free who is not master of himself.  (Shakespeare)    

Most powerful is he who has himself in his own power.  (Seneca)

Who are you?

​”I think, therefore I am” 
 Desecrates

“Who am I?” There comes a point in one’s life, this age old question spores, be it in the briefest of thought or in a metaphysical pondering. Whether we got answers or left with a bigger floating question mark on top of our heads, we to say the least,crave for the deep reality of said answer.

We indeed NEED to know the answer to this, one of life’s fascinating questions.
The day you were born, you began a learning process that will continue for the rest of your entire life. You were from the beginning moulded by your surroundings. Be it parents, relatives, friends, teachers, the people in your area. You absorbed all the general attitudes, ideas and beliefs-the good, bad and ugly. 

You came in contact with each new year of life added to your past, changing the way you view every new day, influencing how you reacted to everything from the simple to the complex. Events touching you and your experience in the world we live in

Bertrand Russell says “as a child, there is nothing unattainable, good things and desires with a whole force of a passionate will can be obtained and yet impossible to them is not credible.” 
We subconsciously carry and express certain manners and attitudes we had as kids as we grow.

As you grow older, you interact with people from far and wide with different backgrounds and ideas about life. Like most people, you probably belong to that vast river of mankind, which lives each moment in the easiest and some-what pleasant way possible.

Believe it or not, most of us are voluntary prisoners of our minds, unwilling to question who we are and get definite answers and we are happy to just simply roll along through life. 

Most of us will live from birth to death in a world, we fashioned from our past to suit our present. Few of people ever stand free from present and daily lives to ask, to wonder, to think and to explore.

Each of us is born, we live various lives and then we will die. We should remember that we have a separate nature which is our own and which sets us apart from every other person who lives or who has lived. We share similar characteristics but, each of us is unique.

You are YOU. Russian born author Ayn Rad formed the concept of “the sense of life” .She described how the sum of all your thoughts, experiences, ideas and emotions about our life form the sum of the state of who we are.

 Our sense of life and your perceptions as individuals are based on previous experiences and how they are integrated in our personality to evoke our emotions, thoughts and values. 

A person’s sense of life isn’t some programme by a single evaluation, it is an integration of countless evaluations over the course of one’s life, a person’s integrated emotions and value judgments related to all aspects of living.

It dictates the internal dialogue, the ongoing conversation you have with yourself about the world and people in it. It is the basis of your self-esteem, if your sense is controlled by external forces, then your self-esteem will suffer and you will feel that you lack control over your life.

Increasing our awareness is a never ending process. Taking control of your “sense of life”, influencing it with reason and steering it in a positive constructive direction is the most important thing you can do to arrive of being human.

Humans have an instinctive feelings of self-preservation and satisfaction as you can choose. 

That also makes you unique, our choices seem to be based not only on what you believe will happen if you make a certain choice but, also on what you want to happen. You can choose the opposite of what your instincts or personality tell you. You call the shots.

Your decision is your decision. Your decision is a product of your singular existence and being. Being able to engage in rational thought and to choose freely among various courses of action based on those thoughts, you are in a very real sense what you choose to be.

“Remembering the past as it gives thought to the future which is important, but only to the extent that it helps one deal with the present”.
To that I say you are who you are and like Nietzsche said “we must become who we really are.” You are the sum of your decisions.

“We are born originals and die as copies” 
Kierkegaard
 

On An Attitude of Gratitude

​All you need are these: certainty of judgment in the present moment; action for the common good in the present moment; and an attitude of gratitude in the present moment for anything that comes your way. Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 9.6

From the onset, the ideas of gratitude comes from a place of appreciation and gladness in the everyday endeavour from the big to the small acts of goodness toward us. Gratitude being itself not an emotion but value and virtue is more important in daily living then most may think. 

From the rituals of religion to the labs of academic thought, to be grateful isnt only pragmatic but, is an underlining root of human mature and mental serenity. Cicero believed that gratitude is a precursor for all of the other virtues, including happiness, kindness, reason and courage. Wealth, possessions, and good fortune are not necessary for happiness

Gratitude in its linguistic sense comes from the idea of being thankful, pleased and agreeable, but at its core has more to offer than just useful social, psychological and physical benefits. You hear a lot of talk about gratitude, but most of the time. Its hard to do and most seem adamant, but gratitude is at its essence is an active process of constant practice, willful attitude and purposeful self-reminder.

To have an attitude of gratitude comes from a place of revolt, maturity and appreciation toward life’s goodness as opposite to its ever present bad state. A stoic attitude of kindness, humility and proper response to a good state of affairs be it by divine, chance or probability of the reality of things.

It is a call to the human heart to affirm the goodness of others and a reminder that we are beyond ourselves. It is an unescapable fact,we are dependent on each other. 
To be grateful is dynamic, realistic, its a loving endeavour, the bridge to common courtesy, kind recognition and mutual kinship benefit to the solace of our minds and the people around us.

The attitude of gratitude stems from 2 stances, one must ask themselves, what it means to be a giver and what does it mean to be a receiver?. It goes without saying but pillar to these two positions is knowledge and clarity on the elements of what constitutes a grateful response is critical for developing an accurate account of what gratitude actually is.

THE GIVER 

No one is  truly obligated to give anything really. To give is just a gesture of goodwill. To give as McConnett states mostly deals with ideas of cost, sacrifice, risk and liability. So why give at all? Why go the distance with if in most cases, no real benefit at all?

We are givers if we do it out of love, love by heart but accompanied by attitude and deed. To be mature is to give more than you take out of life. We celebrate the present. We give because it is a good thing to do.

Gratitude is the truest approach to life. We did not create or fashion ourselves. We did not birth ourselves. Life is about giving, receiving, and repaying. We are receptive beings, dependent on the help of others, on their gifts and their kindness.

William Arthur Ward states that “Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”We need to know how, who and when to give. The mature giver learns not to give for giving sake. But from an uncommon place of kinship with a right heart, motive and mind set.

It’s often thought that a reservation in giving is an attitude of selfishness but thats untrue. Unmindful giving is just as destructive as untamed egoism. To give well comes from the pillars of healthy self-Awareness with undying empathy.

Be a grateful giver is having in mind you are doing this because it is what you want to do, or because it is the right and or sound thing, responses of the receiver becomes unimportant. Accept that some people simply expect people to continue to just do things for them with no reciprocation or acknowledgement. 

Some people don’t know or are unable to show almost any emotion or emotionally stunted and I doubt if most intend to convey what they conveying,that is to show no gratitude. But then again, we don’t know people perfectly and its unhelpful to assume malice as a norm to said individuals.

You will meet people who may be completely self-absorbed to the point that they don’t even understand that other people are just as human as themselves. If you have it in your mind you are doing something because it is what you want to do, or because it is the right thing, their reactions become unimportant.

Be polite and respectful. No surprise, this can be hard to do, though. You have to constantly recheck your reactions and thoughts, Being the giver is as Seneca part of “living with the lot’ of life, living with the occasional resentment and not be possessed by it. Living above the pity thoughts, one needs to find a way to still be kind and gracious without building resentment and never giving out of some moral superiority.

It means we have to strip down our egos and be aware of this unhealthy sense of false entitlement or indebtedness because of our very act of goodwill. We can’t change people and should not be in our interest to forcedly teach anyone to show gratitude.  We should draw respectful intellectual and emotional lines.

Joseph B. Wirthlin put it like this, Gratitude is a mark of a noble soul and a refined character.” We like to be around those who are grateful, Being a mature giver ultimately means you are motivated by an appreciation of people, possessions, the present moment, rituals, feeling of awe, social comparisons, existential concerns, and believing that behavior which expresses gratitude is good for us all, a badge of love and resilience.

THE RECEIVER

We all begin life dependent on others, and most of us end life dependent on others. The human condition is such that throughout life, not just at the beginning and end, we are profoundly dependent on other people. Bring a grateful receiver means not falling prey to Forgetfulness, apathy, pride and laziness  towards the acts of others. 

In truth, we will never  really have enough of what we want to pursue, only if we dare to relax our guard long enough to draw pleasure from what we have, an embrace of our gifts  and ultimately our mortality.

Dr. Robert Emmon and others heralds of gratitude advise us to taking time to count our blessings, displaying positive character traits, appreciate the quiet moments of nature and by keeping a daily gratitude journal where we express joy for all of the good things that happened to us.

As such they also suggest that we are wired to take things for granted. The garden variety of daily dissatisfaction, fears of life and complacency can make gratitude arbitrary. All these sadly cemented by unfair, unrealistic conscious or subconscious comparisons of our peers and the world around us.

Novelty and gratitude wear off quickly. To be more grateful or its practice stands in deep conflict with a central drive in human nature: ambition and desire, the pillars of the human ego. Human beings are not just beguiled by the occasional reminder to be or see no reason at all to be grateful. 

We use what makes us happy as the default, the baseline from which things are judged. We start to feel entitled to have things the way they are, instead of in most cases due to luck or the efforts of others. So practicing gratefulness is a great art and we would be less likely to take life for granted.

 Our lives get transformed, Seneca stressed that time is a fleeting and slippery possession. Every moment of every day we die. This is completely outside of our control. It makes sense to value our time and use it well. This lies at the heart of what it means to be a good receiver.

As such, the receiver is at most content with how things already are. The attitude may sound like a kind act of pretension but with a world full of constant indifference and usurp, to be grateful is a humble acknowledgement and one of life’s noble insurrections.

We may not get all that we want or be eternally happy and fulfilled. Bad stuff may be the talk of the day but, we don’t need to become slaves to our lot and fear- big or small, we fight light with darkness. 

We need to remedy ourselves with the reality that more often than we should that we dont yet recognize the dissatisfaction that arises is our unrealistic frequency of attraction to things, this only is perpetual to the cycle of dissatisfaction, hatred and ungratefulness.

A mature receiver isn’t a stance to pull us away from our real ambitions, or to not be absorbed by the lights and glamour of the world, it just means that it doesnt let it get in the way of a better life. 

Camenisch (1981), suggest that just as forgiveness, the receiver may not feel a sincere need to say and express thanks but the act prompts developing grateful beliefs, feelings and other dispositions that they may not have at the time of thanking and in turn signals the giver to commitment to ridding negative thoughts and feelings that are bad if it had not been said. Which is a healthy characteristic of human relationships, sounds obvious but is extremely pivotal.

In the beginning, exerting an effort and attitude of gratitude in many cases need not be inconsistent with being grateful, just as exerting an effort of will to help a friend under similar circumstances would not make one a bad friend. Hence what’s truly at the center of gratitude isn’t feelings or acts but an attitude prompting them that makes its essence.

The very act of expressing the words “thank you” is the least yet best thing one may do and the giving of thank-you gifts or the doing of return-favors isnt and shouldnt be due to indebtness and in truth, must be done when possible as is a cardinal foundation of good and healthy relations.

The very act of expressing the words thank you despite, the depth of a relationships stands as a statue and a frequent reminder of humility and as an oasis to the monotonous hot ego expectations of the everyday giver.

“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” Albert Schweitzer. The mature receiver exercising their perceptions and by reaching out to friends by celebrating their progress as we would our own and this requires that we first get over ourselves.

The attitude of gratitude as such means we recognize and accept  that there are already at this moment very good reasons ,even if its  minimal to be a little more satisfied with who we are, what we have become and what we have.

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow…Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”

Melody Beattie

Love Thine Self

​”A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”

 Mark Twain

Margo Anand writing on the art of self-love says Loving yourselfdoes not mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic, or disregarding others. Rather it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion. 
The most important decision of your life, the one that will affect every other decision you make, is the commitment to loving and acceptance of yourself. It directly affects the quality of your relationships, your work, your free time, your future and most of all your general well-being.
Having a love affair with yourself and letting go of the layer of false admiration of self through honest reflection and a mindful shift is a must venture in human life. Independently, wholly and plainly letting go of the veil of self-imposed doubt and self-neglect. Being the best you, you can be involves Loving thine self.
 

5 STEPS TO KEEP IN MIND IN “THE ART OF SELF LOVE”

1. Knowing and finding your core values.
You should love yourself unconditionally.
Loving yourself no matter what, through success or failure and no matter what other people think and realize that just by being a human being, being alive you are lovable. You don’t need to do anything. Your very existence is essence and that is enough. Knowing yourself isn’t arrogance, In fact, arrogance is often the foundation of low self-esteem and insecurity. Learning to embrace who you are, both strengths and weaknesses is intimate and a very important fact as you begin the art of self-love.

2. Speak to yourself positively and Stop surrounding yourself with toxic people, words and actions.

Do you pursue your dreams and goals because youre excited about the possibilities and the discoveries, because you want to serve others and honor your life’s work? Or do you do it because you want to prove to yourself and others that you are worthy of love, adoration and respect?
There is no greater path than to fulfil one’s own way, no one will truly ever understand you, yourself included and people will talk about you whether you do bad or good, so finding a healthy balance between being selfless and selfish is important. 
If you stop and look in the mirror to notice that you stopped thinking negatively and letting these negative thoughts about yourself, negative words people say about you consume you, its a good sign that you learning to accept yourself.
Establishing positive affirmation with yourself as you is important. The use of your words toward yourself with utmost strength, care and consideration. This is among the most powerful and self-effective ways in refining your words to keep your thoughts and action in perspective. This can be done by keeping a journal as you keep your thoughts, goals and plans in permanent form as this is key to the art of self-love.

3. Take care of your mind and body.

Don’t fill your mind and body with stuff that is detrimental to your health. Love your body, your looks and appearance, learn to be confident with who you are, because no one truly will but, you. 
By eating right, exercising and various other good lifestyle related choices, one lives, learns and loves that unique being that makes the essence that is you.

4. Find the ways in which you can live Life enjoyably.

No one loves a boring, unproductive or dry life. Take time and effort to put your life and mindset in the most realistic and comfortable way possible, be it in all aspects of your life.
 So the art of self-love means making something of Life. Finding that unique voice that only you can hear and following it wholeheartedly. Committing to your plans and goals, learning to have fun with it all. Treasure it, its your life after all.

5. Make good decisions.

Take time to think about what you will do and the choices you make. Don’t make hasty decisions. They say “a man is a sum of the choices he makes”, so do take wise and fulfilling steps toward your life. If your decisions are more thoughtful and deliberate than you have less regrets and will be less depressed even when stuff goes wrong.
Feeling worthy requires you to see yourself with fresh eyes of self-awareness and love. Acceptance and love must come from within and from you. You dont have to be different or special to be worthy.
 Your worth is in your true nature, a core of love and inner self acceptance and mastery. You are a being. Who are you? You are who you are. We cant bury ourselves and its impossible to neglect self completely. 

• Final thought

While you should always have the drive to improve yourself, its also important to care, accept and love yourself the way you are. Be patient, sincere and kind to yourself during your life. When you mess up, forgive yourself. When you fall, get back up. When you doubt, seek clarity. Most importantly, practice loving yourself as you move through life. Soon the art of self-love will become part of you. Loving ourselves isnt a onetime event or decision. Its an endless, ongoing process. It begins with you, ends with yourself in your own affection and appreciation.

“Until you value yourself, you wont value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”

M. Scott Peck

The Authentic Self

“A person’s worth in this world is estimated according to the value they put on themselves”

Jean de la bruyere

​What does it mean to be authentic? Authenticity with one’s self is being genuine, being literally self-authored, endorsed, being congruent- living up to one’s word. There is an exact correspondence among what is, what should be and what can be
The general definition of Authenticity of self to identity is a mental and physical agreement or harmony. Now apply this to a life approach or one’s life, it means someone who lives with authentic acts in direct accordance with their goals, desires, beliefs, values and being.
Self is your physical and mental being with all its human unique characteristics and genes. Authentic self is your true you, aligned, focused toward the congruent self-image and self-philosophy. People who embrace the authentic self do not let the thoughts of others mainly affect their approach to the world. They take their own unique path paved by their understanding of themselves.
Authenticity leads to attraction and connection with ourselves, something we all look for. We may not care to admit it often but, no one really enjoys the company of people who can’t be themselves. 
No sound minded people love being fake, fake people or wants to lies to themselves. Authenticity leads to confidence in the unique person that is you, your energy and desire to live increases with each day as you consciously decide to be you and decide what you want for your life. In truth, both a scary yet wonderful thing.

You feel at peace that you are going about life with intention and you will not be scared or give apologies for your well thought out actions. Decisions become easy to make rather than being moved by the wind, false emotions and irrational thoughts. Things start to fall into place because, let’s face it, real peace is made and owned.
Once you keep knowing what you want, who you are and what you believe in, you start to show it more through your words and actions, this will begin to happen in both a conscious and often subconscious manner, you begin to be more and more self-transformed. Authenticity, by its core means living on purpose, but you first must know your purpose.
As Humans we are naturally driven to want to act in a way that is consistent with our beliefs, goals, personality and experiences as Robert Cialdini says:
“The difficulty is we often dont know our true beliefs and values. Many of us have not spent the proper time sharpening the saw because we were in such a hurry to cut the tree down.”
Before you know it, many of us are busy cutting with the wrong tools and even chopping the wrong tree altogether. In order to feel genuinely fulfilled, it is important to embrace the you that is your true self, you must live authentically, think authentically and be authentic.
Know yourself as to what you can change and what you can’t. Your own personality traits, learned behaviors, beliefs, goals and motives that interact and integrate into one’s personal form of human interaction toward everything and everyone in the universe.
Begin to analyze and Embrace yourself, the events, choices and people who have contributed to self throughout your life. Understand what guides you, makes you what you are, different from anyone else. Look for something of self-defined sense and that which is true to you.
This in time means being yourself, Discovering your signature strength and basis of your true stature and applying it all to your authentic goals and philosophy. Have the courage to acknowledge your limitations and embrace the best you, you can be. Embracing the best version of yourself.

“It is easy to live for others, everybody does. I call on you to live for yourself.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Listen to your heart


“Your Mother or Your Country: Choose?” Jean Paul Sartre illustrates this with a story about a young who came to him for advice as he was at an impasse.
 The young man’s mother absolutely lived for him; she had no one else. The son didn’t want to betray and abandon his mother, but he also felt a responsibility to his countrymen to fight the Nazis in WW2, 
And felt he could best do this by traveling to Britain to join the French air force based there while France was occupied. The young man couldn’t decide what to do.
If he chooses to stay and be with his mother, who she was all he had, he would make a big difference in her life, just one life but, leaving his mother may mean not seeing her again 
And if he was to choose to fight for his country he would make a difference, a small contribution to a big cause which affects many lives. He felt to both a sense of duty to his mother and his country. He wanted to serve both but had to decide and pick one.
A common piece of advice would be to “listen to your heart”, right? as valid or romantic as that normally sounds, whatever doctrine, advice, or other external influence we may point to, in the end, we’re always the ones making a number of choices,
Whether it’s what action to take, which advice or doctrine to listen to, or how to interpret them. In this case, the man’s chose to go to Sartre for advice as opposed to someone else, and he got the advice he chose to get. Sartre’s response? “You are free. Choose.”
Any ethical system can give only vague rules that you have to interpret and apply. Sartre wants us to see that whether we acknowledge it or not, we’re always involving ourselves in our decisions. “So his choice – No matter what it was – was the only true choice, provided that he made it authentically, because it was determined by the values he chose to accept.”

 

As Nietzsche once put it, “Man first implanted values into things to maintain himself — he created the meaning of things. A human meaning! Therefore he calls himself ‘man’, that is, the evaluator!”
People are driven to make sense of what simply can’t be made sense of. It’s just who we are. You’re driven to unify things, to place meaning relating it to the world, to bring things together in ways that attempt to make more and more sense of what’s around you.
The world isn’t an orderly place at all. Instead, the world is fundamentally irrational. It has no necessary structure, no intrinsic meaning, no innate significance, and no internal purpose whatsoever on its own as the existentialists do state.
Even the idea of structure is a concept to which we assign meaning. The world is an irrational place, of course I don’t mean you can’t explain why particular things happen or what may a better answer out of various answers.
The irrationality of the world isn’t an easy one to swallow. Think about it. When you see order, purpose or meaning in the world, it allows you — on a very fundamental level — to feel at home in that world.
You can feel most comfortable with yourself and with your actions when they fit into some larger scheme outside you, when things go right and life flows for the betterment of you. 
This external framework can, in a way, be comforting because it gives you assurance that a kind of glue is holding everything together and that you can fit into the framework and a little bad can be health to teach and appreciate the good once in a while. 
The senseless death of a small child, no matter how horrible you may think it is, doesn’t fit into any larger, pre-established plan or logic. It just is. It just happens. It is senseless in the big picture, because well, there is no big picture at all! There are no facts, only interpretations, but let’s face it, some interpretations offered have no absolute resolve.
The only successful way to deal with the absurdity of life is through living authentically or in layman terms one aspect involves “listening to your heart”. Become what you already are, 
It means representing yourself in a way that can be considered genuine, which means embracing the fact that you must confront the world in your own individual way, whether good or bad happens to you. Making decides and doing what you chose represents you.
It in my view, stresses the fact that being true to yourself means reflecting in your ways of living the kind of being that you are. In other words, you’re living in the world in a way that reflects the fact that your eyes are wide open to your nature as an absurd being.
You’re living in a way that acknowledges the fact that whatever life path you pick to follow, you’ll never receive any external justification for why that path was the right one for you to take. 
Listening to your heart means making a choice you know and want to live with and this doesn’t necessarily have to be good or bad or the best but, this decision embodies you.
It means representing yourself in a way that can be considered genuine, which means embracing the fact that you must confront the world in your own individual way as opposed to the norm or general conformity.
Sartre insists that, in some respects the consequences don’t really matter, but of course, not to say that consequences are unnecessary. You’re free to make choices that create who you are. You can’t control the conditions in which you make those choices, and you can’t control the outcome.
What you can control is the between, as such the situation you find yourself in and the effects of your actions have on the world after you make your choices are not within your desired absolute control. If you make good choices, if you choose to live honestly and courageously, you’ve made of yourself an honest and courageous person. That’s all you can do and all you can hope to do, if one does so. So don’t live with regret and listen to you heart.

Story of my Life

​ Of whom and of what indeed can I say: I know that! This heart within me I can feel, and I judge that it exists. This world I can touch, and I likewise judge that it exists. There ends all my knowledge, and the rest is construction. For if I try to seize this self of which I feel sure, if I try to define and to summarize it, it is nothing but water slipping through my fingers.

Forever I shall be a stranger to myself. In psychology as in logic, there are truths but no truth. Socrates Know thyself has as much value as the Be virtuous of our confessionals. They reveal a nostalgia at the same time as an ignorance. They are sterile exercises on great subjects. They are legitimate only in precisely so far as they are approximate.

Albert Camus                                     

Everyone has their story to write. This is one of lifes undeniable facts. Whoever you are, wherever you are and whenever you are. We write our stories yet, we are never truly our own author neither do we gracefully hold the pen nor foresee the chapters or page numbers to come. We just read history behind and mystery ahead, we see lessons learnt, battles won and lost. 
History shows us who we once were, the present shows us what we have, what we can be and the dark future is but, a sea of ink that desires to bring its words to life. This story has a lot to offer and ponder. It has its fair share of cuts and bruises, cuts to warn us, bruises to make the warming clear. In this story, we have scars, telling us that there is no going back, this is who we are and this is what has flown out of what we do and have experienced.
This story is full of roads and avenues, signposts and directions, many a deceptive way with less a graceful street. It is not he who has no weaknesses in this story that is the strongest, but it is he who rises above them and to achieve this requires great effort, patience, goodness and humility.
In this story, foolishness comes from within oneself. The only true battle is with ones self. To search for justification in others is a dead end. In this story, a soul is always in doubt yet, it holds its own salvation. The first and only enemy is within, as to hate and love ones self is true humility, for the desire to be strong is not the same as striving for strength.
In the words of William Makepeace Thackeray: “There are a thousand thoughts lying within a man that he does not know till he takes up a pen to write.” I see the practice of writing as a slow cumulative and introspective way of accepting my life as valid, of accepting myself over the lifetime I have, of realizing that my life is important, just by virtue of being me. And it is. And it’s all I have – My body and mind are all I ever have for sure.
I find that whether I’m writing essays, poems, books, and articles or reflecting on the pages of my journal, that I gain increased clarity about who I am, what I value, how I know and see the world. 
I tap a deeper thread of meaning in my life that helps me make sense of everything I have ever done and everything that has ever happened to me. It helps me put things in perspective and opens me up to new insights.
The practice of learning and writing gives me access to an expanded way of knowing and acquiring a deeper wisdom. This is a chosen tool of my self-mastery and I embrace it. 
It gives me access to the powerhouse of my subconscious and unconscious thought. It is to me, a great way to get answers to the questions of my heart and mind. It gives me clarity to what I need to know right now and what I can do to better my life and the people around me.
Its a dismissal of personal responsibility to say, There are things I cannot change or that I can’t do right by myself. In reality, there is almost nothing that we cant change. You may not prevail, but just sitting down isnt an option either. Just moving forward, even this act changes the situation, I do this when I write and learn.
What am I going to be before I die, is not a list of fears and questions but, a collection of real experience. One of the keys to truthfully and authentically being myself is recognizing that I am a dynamic process  not a fixed entity.
I write to live and I live to write. Life all starts with me deciding to live, I choose to live and learn, enjoy the experience as it takes me and never be broken by myself or the world. I self-actualize. I am me. I am who I am.

We only have today. 

That is all we are ever promised.

And today, we must write

The real writer within you is waiting.

Jeff Goins