“You always own the option of having no opinion.
There is never any need to get worked up or to trouble your soul about things you can’t control. These things are not asking to be judged by you. Leave them alone.”
— Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)
On a recent episode of Rise UP with B. Dave Walters we talked about “Finding Your Power”, along with: How to stay calm and peaceful, how to pick yourself up when you fall, timeless secrets for happiness and power, and much, much, more.
One of the things we talked about were the three phrases carved on the front of the Temple of Delphi, and how these simple reminders can improve your life.
Number 1: Know thyself. This simple statement is one of the most common, and yet most misunderstood sayings around. Here is another way of looking at it:
“At 30 a person should know themselves like the palm of their hand, know the exact number of their defects and qualities, know how far they can go, foretell their failures – be what they are. And, above all, accept these things.”
We waste an astonishing amount of time trying to live up to other people’s expectations and defining ourselves based on other people’s opinions. And they of course are operating out of their own unresolved baggage, issues, and trauma from the past, which sets up a vicious cycle of everyone doing what they thought would make them happy, and yet ending up feeling unfulfilled and non-specifically disappointed and unhappy.
So how do we break this pattern? First and foremost, by looking at yourself, TRULY looking at yourself, rose petals, thorns and all. It is only once you accept who and what you are inside, that you can start living out of that, and into the specific purpose you’ve been sent into the world to do. But you’ll never find your purpose while you’re still shackled by someone else’s definition of you!
Number 2: Nothing in Excess. Aristotle said “Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy.” Notice, it says nothing in excess; not food, drink, anger, working, playing, nothing. How many times have you heard someone (or yourself!) say “I know I shouldn’t ________ so much __________, but…” and then proceed to do the thing anyway? Notice how much pain in life could be avoided if we just skipped the things we knew we shouldn’t do, and actually DID the things we know we should!
Notice how rule one and two fit together so seamlessly: Once you have a firm grasp on who and what you are, what you should do flows out of it seamlessly. If you find yourself facing a lot of confusion about what you want, the issue is that you aren’t completely clear on who you are.
Number 3: Make a pledge and mischief is nigh. This can also be translated as “don’t make promises/commitments you aren’t prepared to keep”. Yes, this rule does relate to keeping your word to others, but there’s a much deeper meaning. When we talked before about finding true love we said the foundation of a healthy relationship is trust and respect, since only then can real love grow. The same is true with loving yourself; you need a proper foundation of trust and respect for yourself. And that, comes from integrity, since integrity means keeping the promises you make to yourself.
Once again, we come back to living a life in proper alignment. Since a key component of self-knowledge is being honest with yourself. This is not easy, since we humans have an infinite capacity for self-deception. Think about your closest friends, and the things you know that are true that they aren’t admitting to themselves. Of course, if I ask them, they’ll have a list of things that you aren’t admitting to yourself, either!
However, you can resolve today to start turning this all around. Take a moment to look in the mirror (I mean it, actually look in the mirror) and ask yourself what you see. Look into that person’s eyes, and ask yourself who you see there. And take the time to answer. By the way, never, ever, EVER, accept the answer ‘I don’t know’, after all, if you don’t know you then who does?
The bad news is, this process is not easy, but nothing worth having in life ever is. Only the weak get hung up on ‘easy’, and you are not weak; you are as strong as they come! The good news is, you’ll get the joy of feeling peaceful, happy, powerful, comfortable in your own skin and at home in your own life. And if that’s not worth putting in a little effort to give yourself a checkup from the neck-up, I don’t know what is!
What do you think? Feel free to comment down below!
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B. Dave Walters Writer, Life Coach, and Talk Radio Host
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