Here’s some food for thought:
We are generally the better persuaded by the reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others.
– Blaise Pascal
It’s not exactly a world-changing quote, or even an uplifting one, but it does ring of truth when you think about it.
I believe we’ve all come across such scenarios in our lives, whether we’ve been on the giving or receiving end. One party has tried time and time again to convince another of the best course of action, but the other simply won’t listen. Some call it nagging, others counselling.
As I’m sure you’ve gleaned, what the quote is implying is that people are better at convincing themselves than anyone else. Really, a person’s mind is only truly changed when they allow themselves to be persuaded. And this is much harder if they were previously convinced to the contrary.
However I think there’s more to this than just that. On the one hand, it’s advice for people who are bent on altering the habits or perceptions of another. On the other, it touches on the power of self-discovery.
A key word in the quote above is “discover”. Now there are two ways to discover something:
- By sheer chance, or
- Through conscious seeking and searching
Maybe one day you wake up and you spontaneously decide that you’re going to get a haircut, even though your mum has been telling you to do it for the past few months. It just clicks in your head. It happens. It’s an epiphany! (I always enjoy using that word.)
What about quitting your job and moving to a new city or country? Do people suddenly get a change of heart on the fly, like having a toggle button flip in their heads? Even if they do, I imagine they would spend some time pondering the notion, plotting their course of action.
I think it’s more meaningful if we consciously try to seek for direction and reason on our own, but that’s not to say that having an epiphany is any less meaningful. It just sounds like the latter is a more passive process, but as long as there is action involved I’m your stuntman! I mean, action is good. Positive action.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the term “journey of self-discovery”. There’s some action for you. What does it mean to you? Have you ever embarked on one in your life? More than one?
Here’s a definition for you:
The term “journey of self–discovery” refers to a travel, pilgrimage, or series of events whereby a person attempts to determine how they feel, personally, about spiritual issues or priorities, rather than following the opinions of family, friends, neighborhood or peer pressure.
Thanks Wikipedia! What would we do without you? The people’s knowledge, I say!
Now this second quote ties in rather well with the first one, don’t you think? It focuses on the personal, the individual, the meaning in one person’s life, rather than what others dictate it to be.
It is about finding your own purpose and own way in this life, instead of simply accepting what your loved ones and what society has predetermined for you, as good as their intentions may be. It is what makes us individuals, what gives us identity, what makes us unique.
I believe that for a person to truly grow, they must go through a journey of self-discovery. To grow outwards, one must look inwards. Only by setting a solid foundation within yourself can you attempt to go out and change the world. But of course, don’t take my word for it. You’re better off discovering all this for yourself.
So where do I start, one might ask? How does one commence a journey of self-discovery? I’m glad you asked! Because by asking questions, you have already begun. Ooooh. O_O
Now I don’t profess to be a master of such lofty, philosophical trains of thought, but here are some suggestions, entirely free of charge**!
**This claim may or may not entitle you to solicitations for micro-transactions that may incur actual real-world charges in the form of currency, and other such offers.
- How well do I know myself?
- Do I feel fulfilled in my day-to-day life?
- What makes me unique?
- What inspires me?
- Where am I heading?
Wow, this turned philosophical fast! Let’s just say if you can answer these personal questions, then you’ll have a better chance at tackling the somewhat trickier ones, like why am I here and what is my path in life?
Or you can continue on your way, your staunch mind unmolested by the winds of change that these words whisper in your ears. Oooh.
Either way, I wish you bon voyage on your odyssey of self-discovery! Discover your own reasons in life, so that you can uncover the many other mysteries this world has to offer, and maybe help others on your way through your treacherous quest.
May the Force live long and prosper! No, that’s not right…once you hit the bull’s eye, all the dominoes will fall like a house of cards. Checkmate! Yes, that’s it.