Become What You Are

Existential development requires you to move beyond physical needs and mental concepts. In that space, you begin to identify yourself as what you are before motion and value judgment. Holding onto this state, even as the world turns on its own axis all around you, is how you mature from your childish beginnings to the potential adult that was always within you. Maturity makes you a master of your awareness and responses. You cease to be a slave to your conditioning.

Underneath everything you ever experience lies the subtle layer of internalized processes. It supports every thought and emotion, but it is easy to overlook and miss its importance. An immature mind remains distracted from itself in an endless cycle of externally driven motion. Learn to stay grounded in the unchanging part of what you are, regardless of what problems you encounter. Build your armor against interference, or you will never know yourself.

The journey of heroic maturity climaxes in the confrontation of one’s deepest fears, even literal death, and emerging as a truer version of oneself. You must, sooner or later, face the pieces of yourself you have buried. It will hurt when you face them. It will hurt when you separate from that to which you are most attached. Emotional release relieves you when the separation is complete. Then you have the space to rebuild yourself better than you were before.

Operating as your mature self, you will recognize the difference between the reality of a thing and the common story told about it. You will see the limits of the immature person you spent your life believing you were, and you will be ready to abandon the limits the world forced on you. You will invest yourself in uncertain futures. You will survive the emotional aftermath of deep failure. You will learn to create a world for you as what you are when you fully express yourself.

This is the hero’s journey that is repeated over and over throughout your life with each unfamiliar challenge. When you can recognize challenges for what they are, merely your unconscious inability to adapt to the new conditions, you are then mature enough to focus on changing yourself before changing the world. That maturity is the apex where your pride meets your humility, and you maintain a confident, yet grounded, awareness of yourself. Once obtained, maturity will never leave you.

The hero of the story is the one who can push the limits of the conceptual world he inhabited when we began his journey. His physical exploits are inconsequential compared with how he changes within the domain of his own mind. External changes come and go, but inside he can accumulate unlimited progress. His journey is complete when he arrives at a new version of himself. Then, he spreads his influence onto the conceptual limits of everyone he knows.

As you delve further and deeper into the struggles of your existence, you are going to rely less on the events that happen to you to determine your actions. You will live less responsively and more proactively. The motivation behind your actions will originate from core values and principled axioms, not the immediate satiation of discomfort. You will know deeper suffering and deeper reward in the pursuit of your priorities.

You will know yourself completely when you embrace the middle ground between abundance and scarcity. You will explore how indulgence and abstinence play into your pursuit of reward. You will see yourself under each the extremes of each set of conditions. Your lows and your highs will be directly connected. Knowing what you are capable of, you will maturely navigate the middle ground of your limits to become the master of yourself.

You are more internally grounded through the breadth of your experiences. You appreciate every win and tolerate delays to your gratification. A well-tested individual peers into the future of his wants and his actions. He can wait, patiently, for the time to make a desired reality happen. The immature and underdeveloped individual has no tolerance the trials of time. Discomfort easily overtakes them. The immature individual, therefore, lacks any ability to accomplish great things.

You have survived the trials of meeting yourself. Now you will begin to acquire the tools and the relationships that empower you to be that person in every regard.

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Shatter the Flow of Your Unfulfilled Life

You cannot solve the problems of your existence with superficial pursuits that perpetuate the life you already know. The existential cause of deep suffering is a profound life spent without examination or challenge. The world thrives on keeping where you are, as that is where it knows how to reach you and act on your needs. The world has a proprietary interest in stunting your growth. Because of them, you are never able to go after what they want in life. You will never ascend to the profound truth of your identity.

It is impossible to know what you are capable of when the most important aspects of your life have been derived from people who came long before you or happen to hold greater influence. Under such tightly controlled conditions of self-expression such as the exceptional individual faces today, many who would otherwise find themselves on the path to leadership and original thought cannot develop the bravery needed for an expanded perspective. Only disruption can rock them now from the life to which they’ve grown attached. Only inspiration can show them what they did not know they were missing.

A single catalyst can create a domino effect of changes that will last with them for life. The strangeness of having all that one knows shaken from its ordinary structure creates a call to adventure outward, physically, into the world outside present perceptions. In journeying with the body, an exceptional mind is brought, necessarily, into higher levels of thinking about itself and everything else. All levels of progress originate in change. The prime mover may be forceful, or it may be painful. One way or another, it will be something powerful enough to make you move from where you have settled.

The path of your conventional life is likely so familiar now that you no longer even notice its presence. It blends into the walls, molding to the substructure of you operational mind. You know how, when, and why to go to school or work, but they are the reasons the conventional identities around you allowed. It never had to be this way. It can be any other way you can imagine. The 9-to-5 workweek is an illusion. Your studies are mostly arbitrary and irrelevant. They do not display the principles of productivity or learning. Exceptional actors push themselves out of these and many other stifling patterns for living.

To walk away from the path of the follower brings a personal and social sacrifice. The world will not automatically support you. They won’t even know how to categorize you. The previous way you built your life is no longer compatible with what you are quickly becoming. The longing for more will continue to carry you past familiarity, no matter what you lose along the way. A fundamental identity shift never changes just one aspect of your life. The entire structure by which you live can crash and burn. The older you get, the more you have invested in a lifestyle structure, and the stronger your disruption needs to be.

Anyone who rebels, not matter how crude the manner, is leading in their own way. They already know they don’t want what the rest of the world would choose for them. With proper mentorship though, they could hone their potent instincts and apply them to something important, something with impact and longevity. They must get over their loner mentality, always seeing themselves as alone against the world. There are experienced warriors and wanderers out there who could light the way if only the would-be hero would open his mind to the possibility of their leadership.

The world keeps turning on the axis it is on because people become stuck in lifestyle loops that require them to address the same needs time and again without improvement. If the idea of higher level goals never enters their minds, they do not move on from what they know. Do not continue chasing your tail another day of your life. Anytime your mind desires something to be different than it is, there is a window to greatness available.

Heroes learn to break away from the narratives of their cultures to follow what genuinely interests them. The hero must place his development as his highest priority above all other glory. The world will work against him in this regard. Parents do not teach their offspring the values of self-knowledge. Schools have their curriculum decided by machine-minded bureaucrats. Advertisers profit by appealing to gluttonous and lustful demands. We all remain unfulfilled, even when we get what we thought we wanted.

When you see that you are stuck on a track in your life that you never chose to ride on, look for the disrupting events that can enter your world at any time. They beautiful chaos of the universe ensures that there is always something unexpectable happening somewhere near you. The disruption may be positive or negative. It will be the starting point for a new narrative pathway.

Every exceptional person needs to break out of their ordinary life before they can even begin to become all of which they are capable. Look for the disruptions to the normal flow of your life and welcome them eagerly.

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Challenge How Others Categorize You

An ordinary person is so afraid to define himself that he stumbles accidentally into whatever social function resists him the least. Never going too far in any direction provides safe barriers for him to avoid injury, but they also nullify all forms of heroic action. He spends his entire life chasing a dream that a collection of voices planted in his head many years ago, only to die never having lived at all.

You cannot help but conceive of the world through the lens of internal categorization. Categories are useful filters for the intellect. Your mind filters reality into fine details, which overlap, sharing qualities that can be applied for specific functions. Categorization is what makes information useful, including information about what you are supposed to be. You develop your categories through observations, but more often the influence of people who came before you.

If you allow other people to set your categories for you, you will never be fully yourself. If you embrace tradition, you will never look for exceptional alternatives. If you accept that your life must proceed according to one of the plans society offers, you will never express the parts of you that exist outside these boundaries. Your conception of what you think you are supposed to be will always rely on clues given by other people as to what is acceptable.

An idealized version of you is created the moment other people project their preferences onto your mind. When they identify something they like about you, it creates a positive feedback loop. You desire their approval, so you emphasize the quality they picked out as more important than all the rest. With enough positive feedback, you start to forfeit anything contradictory, amputating large swaths of your potential.

Pretty girls grow up believing they cannot also be intelligent or daring, so their beauty becomes the sticking point of their entire identity. Boys learn that their natural toughness violates the ability to be soft and caring. We all ascertain that there is only enough room in the psyche for a few culturally relevant traits to dominate and define our place in the surrounding social machine. False dichotomies rule us, fragmenting everyone into shattered, compartmentalized identities. Abandon the old world’s way of seeing and instantly expand your possible self-expression.

When you awaken from the illusion of your idealized self, your struggle will have only just begun. The people in your life will continue to pressure you to conform to what they know. They need you to be easy to accept. The people closest to you already have a space carved out for you in their sense of identity. Even strangers will resist if you stray too far from the prevailing social narrative around you. They don’t even know they are doing this. They simply don’t know any other way to exist.

You cannot explore yourself completely so long as you remain a character within their stories. You yearn to be something more, but you don’t yet know what that is. You cannot escape the ideal they prefer over the authentic you. You fear to lose what you have built over the course of your life so far, as everything you have ever been is contained in the contextual filter of the person others know you to be. You don’t know what to do. You only know it cannot go on. The fear of rejection keeps you enslaved.

As things presently are, no matter how stifling, you know there is at least one comfortable position for you to exist in the world. Anything too new, any emerging trait which contradicts the image you are already living out, threatens the social standing you have been building over the course of your entire life. Within the confines of your familiar social context, you feel no pressure to change your life to what you want it to be. You remain an amalgam of collective allowances from dominant personalities. You must step outside what you know to become something more.

Do not forsake who you are to conform to what others have chosen for you. Do not depend on bland generalities to find meaning, or fear the pursuit of whatever excites you most. Ask yourself how every label truly applies to what you know yourself to be, and if in necessarily prevents you from living up to other labels you know you desire. That kind of dedication is how you break out of the mold created by from where you came.

Only nature knows its absolute limits. You will not know everything you can become until you challenge every limit the world taught you because it feared what you might one day become.

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There is a Reason Why You Began

Few people today ever fully realize what they are capable of, despite great opportunity to do so. Options, by themselves mean nothing. Tools, if unused, do not aid. A wanderer with no vision never advances. The emotions that spurn great initiative lie dormant in the spoiled children who will never know hardship or passion. They will never see a life beyond the slim range of now.

No matter where you go, you will encounter obstacles that curtail your will to pursue your goals. They will stand between you and whatever you perceive you want. You will notice them because they cause you pain. Obstacles matter because they affect what you care about. Injuries are always visible in the context of your motivation. Trauma comes from failed ambitions. Your experience of the world is determined by your core motivations.

In the course of living, you will build your identity around what makes gives you satisfaction. Every object you ever own, every relationship you ever forge, every product you ever purchase, and every action you ever take will be an attempt to serve the invisible master of your motivations operating in the subroutines of your psyche. You are driven, unstoppably, toward an intangible end, but you will never find peace there. The goals you derive from your environment are not real. They are fabrications, only barely resembling the object that will pacify you. Reliable satisfaction kneels to motivation that is present before what happens in the world of the senses.

Action is the path to expansion, but motivation permits all action. If you do not know why you care enough to try, you will not reach beyond your society’s current setting. You will not become more than what they think you can be. When you see that social traditions suppress everything you feel is important, you will lose your motivation before it has been able to incarnate. Above all else, you must find the will to become more than what the world demands from you.

Start the inward search right now. When you’ve gathered enough unique experiences, you can find the underlying thread beneath the most important events of your life so far. Focus on the principle that motivated your actions. The outcome is not what matters here. You must understand why you have been doing what you do with your time in your body. Only then can you can begin to predict your actions under any possible circumstances, no matter how strange they seem to the version of yourself you know right now.

What happens out there in the world can reveal what happens within you. The internal journey is always reflected in your actions. You may sometimes even return to actions for which you thought you had already moved beyond their purpose. Only this time, you will do them for better reasons than you did before. To external minds, you may not look any different. To anyone who has sees beneath the surface, they will see you as a person completely remade. A new identity will be operating within the same familiar body.

An idealistic hero starts his journey with faulty motivations, a broken prize in mind, because he has no experience with reality to test what he believes. Upon enduring great misery, challenging his reasons against the trials of the real world, his naïve perspective will shift. He no longer acts to for the external prize. He acts because he knows his standards for action are better than those of other actors. He will uphold his heroic ideals no matter what changes in the world around him. Nothing can destroy him now. He has found internal invincibility in his motivation.

With the core of his motivation in place, the hero can enter dangerous conditions where his will is tested without end. His spirit protects him against whatever psychic injuries unfamiliarity might produce. The emergencies he faces remove the comfortable conditions where he first discovered his will. With external familiarity gone, only his internal conditions remain. Only the will to act, the embodiment of his motivation, matters now. That motivation will guide him even when he is facing the utterly unknown and terrifying. It makes the way clear on conscious and unconscious levels.

You need to own your motivations if you are ever going to break out of your ordinary routines and aspire to something more. It is the only way you will have the will to try, to tread onward when things go wrong. Motivation can look like many things. Motivation can be deeply negative, a righteous kind of anger that creates drive. Motivation can be curiosity and enthusiasm for new things, even when nothing is going wrong.

Find your core motivation and hold onto it tightly. It will carry you through the trials to come, to arrive at what you are.

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Remember Why You Act

To realize what matters is only the first step in the journey to live out the narrative of your life. You then must adopt your values as principles to guide your actions. Though daunting as it may be, accept that you will never flawlessly live up to your own standards. No one is perfect in their actions. The heroic person is willing to try, without end, despite falling short of his ideals.

Your resolve may be hard as iron, but resolve is not enough to make a difference. You are still slave to the rules of the universe. Locked in an ongoing battle against disorder, your body and your mind are subject to fatigue. It can strike you any time if you are not cognizant of your nature. You may sacrifice long-term results for a short-term feeling of progress.

As a human being is both a thinking and feeling creature, he must use both aspects of his mind congruently. Thoughts show you how to arrange reality to accomplish your goals, but they cannot be the motivation for your actions. Your emotions carry that responsibility. When what you feel is out of sync with what you know, your emotions will mislead you. You will chase a fleeting sense of fulfillment with efforts that accomplish nothing.

Every strategy you make to get what you want is predicated on the expectation of satisfaction from succeeding, or else the opposite for failing. These emotions tell you where to go. Intellect only tells you how to get there. Without regular witnessing of the consequences of your actions, emotions will wane. You will feel disillusioned in your mission. Your mind will believe that nothing can be done, so it will accept that it is useless to continue. The thoughts which previously abetted you will not be enough to sustain you. Your mind will crave emotional sustenance to replace its fatigue. That is how it knows it has served its purpose well.

The analytical mind has a different problem. It can extrapolate magnitudes beyond what the senses can tell you. No matter where your concepts take you, emotions remain rooted in primal psychological patterns. Arrange information one way, wonder is created in the brain. Set a pretense, fulfill it, and experience relief from expectation. No matter how you structure it, you are always playing the game.

To remain on your path, you will need to find the moments that invigorate and restore you from the strain of action. Do not underestimate the importance of psychological rejuvenation. No matter how insignificant it seems, the right stimulus at the right time can have a profound effect on your psyche. Your body needs to eat and rest. Your mind has its own ways. Regular restoration is the only way to avoid disillusionment in the face of great adversity.

It is important to be passionate, but do not be so hotheaded that you do not savor the spoils of your efforts. Bring things down to the human experiential level from the realm of concepts. Without a connection to your emotional center, you will grow increasingly worn and frantic. You cannot serve your purpose when you are not all together in body and mind.

Whatever your values, interject yourself on the ground floor of activities related to them. If you want to help people, do not do so solely from afar. You will not feel as good about your actions as you should. Put yourself in a position to be face-to-face with the people you are impacting. Watch the transition they make from worse to better as a result of your intervention. Allow them to see who you are and what you are doing so the effort will be real for them.

Take healthy pride in what you have done, so that you will have the strength to do more of it.

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Be Careful What You Aim For

One way or another, everyone alive today navigates in a world that grows denser with competing ideologies. The level of devotion solidifies to match the breadth of possible alignments. There are now more people who are more sure of the rightness of their increasingly opposing values. Conflict is inevitable. Clarity is essential.

Part of the maturing process is coming to the realization that there are aspects to reality you care about more than others. If no one had ever told you what to spend your time on, you would have had to arrive at such a grand conclusion through your own meticulous investigation of the options. You would have to have become sensitive to your own nature so that you could observe how concepts and experiences affected you emotionally.

With enough self-knowledge, you can begin to prioritize your life rationally. You can discriminate, on your terms, what matters from what does not. Discrimination carries an incredible level of responsibility that most the adults running the planet today do not respect or understand. They had their occupations handed down to them. You will be different. You will decide your actions carefully.

Ideas, once implanted in a mind, seek to spread themselves to fertile new territory. Everyone you ever meet will believe something strongly, and in some way attempt to align your values with the ones they hold. Only when you are sure in your principles do you grow immune to interference from things unrelated to your goals. Take responsibility for what you are certain you care about. Focus on those things that affect your psyche. This is how you find your mission.

In ancient and modern cultures alike, we have looked up to avatars that represent something extraordinary in human nature. Whether as myths or real people, heroes take the best parts of humanity and exemplify them, giving the rest of us something magnificent to look up to. They show us what we can become, at least within one specific domain. What defines each of them, much more than their incredible abilities, are the values they dedicate their lives to upholding against any resistance. The principles of their operation define them.

The endgame for every person identified with specific values is to become the superhuman embodiment of the principle of those values. When you are ready, you begin to bring the ideas out of your head and manifest them in all of your actions. You change your environment to be closer to your conception of order, with the details you care about tended to. You become a guardian for those things, watching over them to protect against anything invading force that would dismantle their structure.

When you only inherit your values from your culture, you cannot rely on your evaluation of life’s most important concepts. Ordinary people distance themselves from matters of great importance. They don’t want to be the one to make the determination for how things will go in a sensitive situation where much is at stake. They absolve themselves of responsibility, not wanting to have to go through life carrying the emotional consequences of their actions.

Do not abdicate liability by acting as though a personal value were a natural law. Society is constantly at odds with itself over the natural order of things. These conflicts go forever unresolved because opinion owners do not take accountability for the values they have allowed into their minds. If they could own their preferences, they would see that it was their burden alone to manifest these principles. Reality cares neither way.

When you see something deeply unsettling in your environment, will you take action to rectify those feelings? Will you act upon the injustice you perceive, even at great risk and personal injury? A person with extraordinary character looks beyond base level gratifications to see what is quintessential to their happiness. They are willing to stand by the consequences of their choices, as nothing is more important to them than being authentic.

In time, you will become recognized for the things you stand for and the principles which you will never betray. That’s what builds trust and makes meaningful relationships possible. Because the people will know what you will always strive toward, no matter the conditions, they can rely on you. A man with no principles has no character, as there is no way to predict what actions he will take when environmental motivators are stripped away.

As everything is working against you, that’s when you see who you really are.

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