Re-Creating Your Self by Christopher Stone
It’s almost impossible to overemphasize the importance of thinking for your self as a tool for Re-Creating Your Self.
Remember, no one has the power to think for you unless you give him the power.
Quite simply, you’re living in that proverbial Fool’s Paradise if you believe you can become the person you want to be, living the life you desire, by allowing others to think for you. There’s no legitimate way to absolve your self of the personal responsibility for your own success.
To this very day, whenever I’m tempted to allow someone else to think for me, when I understand that it would just be easier to follow group thought, I think of a question mom asked me when I had similar tendencies in childhood: : “If Joey decided to jump off of a bridge, does that mean that you would do that too?” Remembering mom’s query of old reminds me it’s time for original thinking, and not the mindless going along with the gang – or group thought.
Looking to others for the answers to your life doesn’t build a strong foundation for personal success; it inevitably adds to your fears, insecurities and feelings of inadequacy.
ALLOW OTHERS TO THINK FOR THEMSELVES
In addition to thinking for your self, and learning to recognize when you aren’t, you must also allow others to think for themselves, and also recognize when you’re trying to think for them, or impose your will on their decision-making.
Are you someone who sometimes believes that you know what’s best for someone other than your self? If so, then please understand that it isn’t your right, or your responsibility, to think for someone else, excepting when that someone is a minor for whom you are responsible. As concerns children, parents are well advised to be more guide than dictator.
Whenever you’re tempted to tell a friend, or a family member, something such as, “Take my word for it. Don’t do that. It will only bring heartache,” you may well be harming and hindering, not helping, the person you’re advising. As with your self, the people in your life are here to amass self-knowledge through direct personal experience. They aren’t meant to create their lives according to the advice of others, and that includes your own invaluable advice.
Parents, it’s your right and responsibility to guide your young children, to give them a basic orientation to the physical world, to provide a direction for personal growth. However, some of you feel compelled to “call the shots” and control every decision, long after your daughters and sons have come of age. You are convinced you know the career, the spouse, the friends, the house, the lifestyle that will best serve your offspring. If you are one of these parents, you must learn to let go – for the good of your children and your self. Accept full responsibility for creating your own happiness and give your daughters and sons the opportunity to create happy, healthy lives for themselves. Besides, if your own beliefs have created an exemplary life for you, then your children will benefit from your example, and they won’t require your unsolicited advice and interference.
Once again, each individual needs to think for himself, to gain self-knowledge through first-hand experience, and not to live according to hand me down beliefs.
This column, I defer to Buddha for the Re-Creating Your Self Thought:
Believe nothing because a wise man said it,
Believe nothing because it is generally held,
Believe nothing because it is written,
Believe nothing because it is said to be divine,
Believe nothing because somebody else believes it,
But believe only what you yourself judge to be true.
THINKING FOR YOUR SELF
STEP 1: Do you still allow others to think for you? List the sources from which you currently accept new beliefs on faith, without your own careful self-analysis. Include religious, scientific, spiritual, political, business and social organizations, as well as friends, family, lovers, co-workers and teachers.
STEP 2: Do you still try to think for others? Consider your children, spouse, friends, students, co-workers and the others in your life. Write a list of those for whom you try to think.
Before ending this column, I ask you to do your self a favor and to“keep me honest” by questioning everything I’ve told you about thinking for your self.
Next time: Falling in Love with Your Self.
Have a comment, observation, or question about Re-Creating Your Self? Please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright 2009 by Christopher Stone