Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tiny Buddha book discussion: Day 3

"The best way to navigate new territory is to create new mental maps. Research indicates that we do this most effectively when we reach our own insights, as opposed to when someone else tells us what to do. It's why advice so frequently falls flat: in order for us to get past the discomfort of our thoughts and conditioning, we truly need to have our own epiphanies." 

In other words, we just don't get it until we get it. Got it?

I couldn't agree more with this research indication because I am living proof of its truth. If I'm struggling with something and you think you have the solution that will just completely knock my socks off and change my whole life, think again. Call it stubbornness, call it ignorance, but you can preach to me all day long about something that I need to do or change in my life, but every word you say will fly right over my head until I realize the solution for myself. It has always been that way for me and I think it is for a lot of other people too.

If I hate myself, you can tell me a million times to love myself, but I still won't. Not until I reach the conclusion that I'm deserving of love and self-respect.

If I'm afraid to step out of my comfort zone, you can write countless articles about pushing through fear, but I'm not going to push through that fear until I find the inner strength to do so.

Makes giving advice seem kind of pointless, doesn't it? Well, not necessarily. We're all human and we're all learning and growing together. Nobody ever gets life all figured out and there will always be more insights to be reached and realizations to be had. With that said, we're all different. We all have different opinions and beliefs. Some people may feel empowered by self-help articles, while others may fall asleep while reading them. Some people may hear and absorb life changing advice, while others may figure things out for themselves.

I'm not saying that I've never been emotionally moved or inspired by someone else's story or nugget of wisdom. I have. Countless times. I've heard from people and read books and articles that really made me look within myself and mull over what they had to say. But after all that mulling, I'm still the one who has to make the change. No one else can do that for me. I believe that self-empowerment is the most powerful kind of empowerment of all. Real change comes from the inside. You can look to other people and read self-help articles/books all day long, but at the end of the day, your life is still your life and you are the only one who can change what needs to be changed.

Advice helps. Wisdom helps. Compassionate, understanding people help. But that's the thing. They only help. Only you get to decide what you want or need to change in your own life. You need to have your own epiphanies and figure out what works for you as an individual.

<3 Madison

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