February 12, 2008

Self-discovery, not self-improvement

The journey of life is not about improving oneself. It is about remembering oneself. The path you're traveling isn't a journey to some distant land. Rather, it leads back to a place you once knew but forgot along the way, as those around you socialized you out of your essence. Actually, it's a journey back home, to the natural greatness and perfection you had when you were born. We must not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we began and to know the place for the first time.

Living your best life is really mostly about recapturing what you gave up!

It's true. As a child, you were aware of all your gifts. You were innocent and pure. You were immensely creative and wildly passionate. Your imagination knew no boundaries and your dreams knew no limits. You trusted others and had faith in yourself. You didn't have this need we adults have: to have everything all figured out. You expressed your truest essence as a person without fear of reprisal, and you freely let your light shine. You lived totally in the moment and savored every simple gift that each of our lives brings to us on a regular basis. You loved snowflakes and spiders, singing and dreaming, a good hug and a steaming cup of hot chocolate. The world was abundant, a place of boundless possibilities. But then something happened - you grew up!

As you grew up, you started to adopt other people's beliefs about the way the world works and the nature of your role within it. You shut down your beautiful feelings and began to live in your mind - spending your days rationalizing, judging and worrying rather than slipping, dancing and playing. You became a pleaser - thinking, acting and conducting yourself in ways that were not necessarily of your own choosing but of the choosing of those around you, such as your parents, teachers and friends. And so the process of socialization took over and your personal magnificence began to be hidden. You did what you were told, acted as you were instructed to act and thought the way people taught you to think.

And in doing so, you began to live in a small box. After you die, there will be plenty of time to be in a small box... so why live in one while you're alive?

- This is an extract from Robin Sharma's The Saint, the surfer and the CEO.. one of my all time fav books.


sumi said...

loved the last line..but dont quite agree with the title..i think life is a journey comprising both of them...discovery and iumprovement

Anonymous said...

Death is not the greatest loss in life, the greatest loss is what dies in u when u are alive.

U No Hoo said...

I am a strong believer in the fact that you get polluted as a part of growing up and hence it is really about undoing many things. And hence it is quite difficult.

Avani said...

I don't completely agree with this article.
It looks at life in just one dimension.Its not like one fine day u grew up...
growing up is a process which one undergoes every day..every moment. you don't suddenly wake up and realise that you grew up!!
all the choices that we make in this process is a very conscious choice. As long as we take responsibility for our actions and be honest with ourselves..am sure we can live with the purity of a child..flawless and beautiful.

Avani said...

and..i also agree with Sumi..
Discovery and improvement goes hand in hand.
to undo the bad elements of our lives..we have to discover what needs to be undone and only then improve upon it..if one chooses to.
(sorry for the multiple posts)...just got a lil overboard here:))

joamoo said...

its really thought that strikes a lot....but it is not at all easy for a person to go on his own ways....what happens is in fact...sometimes we no that we should not do a particular thing but we hav to....out of our bonds with our family...our relatives...etc. If it is financially all well...we can perhaps do this from the beginning...1 thing is for sure....to desire not do a particular thing is a function purely of your senses...ur crystal perception about ur surroundings....many people do not realize the WHOLE sense of our life...they just go on living in a small circle they have created....but then it has to be within. May be i agree with the views because i tend to do the things i dont want to in a forced way....but then there is no choice....U have to take care of many...then u can really think of doing your own things...