Suffering is a Symptom of Growth

For all your power, whether natural or acquired, you still can only function in a rather narrow band of comfortable experiences. Step outside this range, and the outcome is death. Approach your limit you will experience every trauma a human mind can. There is no way to expand this area except to march purposefully into trauma.

The first trauma you learn in infancy is separation from the womb, the only familiar environment you’ve known. The shock of birth overwhelms you, forcing your first breaths and instinctive cries. You don’t know what is happening, only that you wish to return to what you know. It is natural to resist what you do not know, and stress happens when changes come faster than you can mitigate them.

As you grow, you learn more of your physical limits each time that you hurt yourself. Pain is a powerful teacher. It shows you where you are not yet ready to go. You must make yourself faster, stronger, more flexible, and more durable to expand the comfort range of your body. So long as you can endure the strain, you will soon accomplish physical wonders.

Your mind learns its limits just as quickly. Tending to your daily needs, you learn one arbitrary way of operating. The way you initially learn to express yourself creates a template of comfortable boundaries. While this is is a necessary first step in your young life, it becomes perilous when your expansion plateaus there.

As soon as you expect reality to start showing up a certain way, you set the stage for mental trauma when those expectations go unfulfilled. Nothing can stay the same forever. Either you will come to be ready for more on your own terms, or accidental circumstances will force you to act beyond what you know. Then you enter a new landscape, home to all new levels of psychological pain. These levels and their limits escalate indefinitely.

Passion is the source of all motion, for it creates an attachment to ephemeral events. It is therefore also the source of all trauma. When change is gradual, you are allotted a buffer to adjust your expectations. When change is swift, your mind’s limits are revealed by trauma. Reality is now happening to you outside your admissible range. You suffer.

The abrupt annihilation of your strongest attachments can scar you for life, grooming you to relive the trauma without end. You can no longer even think of your life without the twinge of pain that came when your whole life changed so rapidly. In staying trapped in the old world you once knew, you never adapt to the new one that is always happening around you.

Only the most important experiences stay with you in the years to come. You hold on to your trauma because letting go feels like killing a part of yourself. Learn to leave the past in the past, or carry a lifetime of baggage everywhere you go. Learn this reassess what you thought you knew about your past so the traumas of today become the adaptations of tomorrow.

Forgiveness exists to absolve the human psyche of trauma. It gives you the chance to close the recurring loop of failed expectations in your mind. It is the natural result of growing emotionally so that you no longer expect things to be the way they once were. It is essential for amputating the threads that tie you to the past and prevent you from fully entering your future.

There is something to be gained from any situation if only you can process the trauma within. Perspective can always expand. Appreciation can deepen. You can gain a deeper knowledge of rare events that few people have the wherewithal to investigate. Be brave enough to see what destroys you as a potential friend and teacher.

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Seek Out New Ways to Arrange Reality

The value of a mind does not reside solely in the total information it stores. Indeed, knowledge can betray you if it prevents you seeing beyond its boundaries. Whatever you know is not the limit to what can be known. Think beyond the constraints of tradition to look upon all things with new eyes.

No matter the question, a thousand solutions hide just outside your ordinary thinking. Human minds cannot interpret anything without the bias of memory. Past experience constrains you to just a few of the many options for action. Tapping into creativity reduces reality to its constituent parts and imagines how else they might be combined.

When you break things down to useful principles, you become an artist. An artist is merely anyone who intentionally turns one thing into another. A splash of blue gradually resembles the unending sky around you. So many plucks of a guitar string form a rhythm and alluring melody. The earth becomes bricks, and those bricks become a home.

All forms of creation require the creator to see beyond accepted structural limits. They expand their vision to make use of reality’s emergent properties. Intellect delineates things, placing what it knows into seemingly useful categories. Creativity challenges those categories to merge unpredictably. A balanced and effective mind needs both.

To be original, you must be able to look upon a piece of reality with the eyes that were never told what to look for. By playing with things in your own way, you produce new outcomes that staying confined to known paths could never have revealed. However smart you are, you are limited if you cannot expand beyond the already known.

The experiences of your life will present new challenges with no known solutions. Creative thinkers tackle these problems head-on, knowing they possess the faculties to assess whatever new things come at them. They will be the ones who lead for others who cannot tap their creative abilities to follow.

The nature of life is such that everyone exists in a chronic state of change. If you do not always grow, you will soon begin to die. Creative growth is easy when you are young and everything is novel. There are endless new meanings for your budding mind to integrate. Without careful attention to your creative faculties, you will lose your growth with age.

Always be scanning for the opportunity to do things differently than you have done them before. Through this process, you will delay the death of your unique self. Without creativity, you will always come second to what has already been explored. As your ally, it makes the most familiar things sustainably new for as long as you shall live.

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Make Your Ambition Meet Your Insight

Intelligence and creativity, without the ability to apply them in proportion to their stature, are tremendous burdens to carry. Their unfulfillment can lead to a hollow kind of psychosis that rots a talented mind from within. To be given ample faculties is a responsibility for which few young people prepare. Through chance, a seed of greatness appeared in you. Now the seed must grow.

All your faculties, your skills, and your training are nothing without the will to act. Without action, you may remain trapped in the playground of your idealized self forever, never accomplishing the great deeds which entertain you. Armchair dreamers and philosophers never live to see their ideas tested upon reality’s mantle.

When your vision stretches beyond ordinary horizons, you have set an obligation on yourself to follow it. Failure to fulfill this obligation will taint your resolve. The greater the distance between where you presently are and where you can conceive of going, the deeper your misery. Break the inertia of inaction before you are permanently entrenched where you are.

Bold pursuits matter to your growth because they will awaken your spirit. Allow yourself to become addicted to the emotional rewards of accomplishment. These pursuits add meaning to your time, which is measured in what you are capable of feeling in response to your experiences. Ignore this, and sentence yourself to a lifetime of idle suffering.

When the pain of remaining where you are surpasses the fear of moving, you will begin to implement your principles through the mechanics of your body. Your arms and legs become instruments for effecting the changes you require. Your mouth and hands spread the message of your principles. You have stepped out of the realm of the mind and into the shared space of society.

Real action contains resistance that does not exist in the intangible realm of the mind. When you activate your body, you push against the fabric of the universe. You enter the cosmic dispute for dominance over spaces and belongings to occupy. Understand that no object can be in two places at once, and no two objects can share the same space exactly.

When you speak your principles, you aggress against incompatible ideals. You display the nakedness of your psyche by putting its operation conclusions into words. Others will fight you, for you implicitly oppose what identifies them. It takes great character to stand your philosophical ground when your society sets itself against you.

You will feel the pain of error, making you want to quit when the resistance seems too strong. Those moments test your character. You must first struggle and fail. From the aftermath, you will build yourself to be better than you were before. It is no different than exercising a muscle to make it stronger.

The hero who is never tested in reality’s arena has never been on his journey, and his self is yet to develop.

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You Are Equal Parts Dark and Light

Good and evil are not difficult to grasp. Good creates and maintains order. It protects the bigger picture through a systemic view of the universe. A heroic man knows that his life is more than singular. He is an interactive part of something larger, so he identifies with more. He scales his influence through the principles that define him.

A good man handcrafts his values, communing with others who share his goals. Self-sacrifice comes naturally for a hero because he knows he is not losing himself when he invests his life into something authentically greater. Men can only be truly good when they have struggled to find their principles and carry them out in the world.

Evil is far easier to adopt as the primary motivator of your actions. Darkness is short-sighted, for it thinks only of its immediate needs. Instant gratification consumes an evil mind. Villains grow apathetic to the long-term effects of their actions or subjective experiences of other people. They sacrifice the larger order for immediate gain.

You might think you know what you are building towards, but doubts will enter your mind along the way. You will be tempted, again and again, to ignore the big picture of your goals and let shallow greed divert you. Lust appears for any of the basic pleasures in life, turning something beneficial into a vice. Beware your momentary urges, for they can betray you.

However, denying your darkness can never cure you of its influence. Denial only temporarily pushes it away. The way to neutralize its harm is to understand it completely. You must reach a level of intimacy with yourself such that no stone of your personality is left unsearched, no matter what you find beneath. Then you and darkness can co-exist.

Every superficially good person is frightened by their capacity for evil, limiting their ability to act. They must safely explore their darkness within the mind, where no physical damage can occur. A dark idea only becomes dangerous when its consequences affect others. Contain them so you learn about them.

Whatever you cannot explore in your imagination is something that still holds power over you. For a sufficiently powerful mind, no concept is forbidden. Murder, rape, and the wanton destruction of property can freely occur there. Ask if you are strong enough to keep your dark impulses where they can do no harm.

Can your actions remain virtuous while your mind wanders to forbidden territories? If you hide the part of yourself that preys on powerful urges, you will eventually falter and create destructive consequences. Master the dark part of yourself while you are young and can manage the temptation of dark actions, or else it will sprout like weeds in a garden.

A hero is neither his garden nor the weeds within, but a flourishing jungle of many acres. There is a natural balance to the ecosystem within. In that natural ecology is where you will find harmony between your darkness and light. There, you will choose what kind of character you are going to be: good or bad, heroic or villainous. Then you will change the world.

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Focus on Your Path

You face now a heavier burden than any generation before you. Choices abound in your life, but you will not always recognize them for the distractions they are. Because new options for entertainment are constantly thrust before you, you have not had real clarity. The fog of motion surrounds you. It is there in the background of all your memories, blinding you to your desires.

The human world holds many dramas to keep you from fulfilling your identity. The environment we have built is nuanced and varied. Relish in the experiences our advancement offers, but move on when they have played out their role in your journey. If you lust for the same excitements too long, you will throw your development away.

Through mental context, the meaning behind every action changes. A mature mind can bridle the flow of details which come at them in every direction. It can select its priorities. The immature mind has no such power. It is too weak to see through the turbulence other people create. Yours will be like a spotlight once you have learned to focus it.

Despite growing in life experience, most people relive the same lessons without end. The distractions of a human life keep them trapped in what they already know. Sex, games, food, and social conquest provide a quick fix for discontentment, never allowing you to go deeper into what defines your pain. Instead, go so deep into unhappiness that you destroy your familiar patterns.

Seeing it for what it is, the noise of society will overwhelm you at first. A thousand aggressive messages fly off in all directions around you. You need only turn on your television or step onto on a public street to witness this. Ideas and the activities they generate are competing for your mind. Do not be so quick to yield.

Hold space in your mind, and from that space make new decisions about how to spend your time. Grow bored with activities the moment they fail to give you new meanings. Then you can exercise all your mind’s facilities as you pursue your goals, instead of yielding to the easiest path.

When your mind is free from the search for an activity to fill its internal void, you may remain unmoved in mental inquiry. The longer you sit with the question “why?”, the more uncomfortable you will become with your existence. This discomfort is vital to your growth.

In uncomfortable stillness, your mind will yearn for familiar motion again. It will want to feel the same pains and excitements it already knows. Conquer this yearning, and you will obtain the key to all existential progress. You become the master of your interest. You can make it serve your larger purposes with the filter of a longer timeframe.

Knowing who you are means being able to say “no” to countless more options than you will ever act on. Selection over action is the crucial first step to following your passions. Never be afraid to step away from the norms of your environment.

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Self-Sabotage Negates All Progress

Influence comes from two places. Force comes from the outer world, composed of every character and situation you’ll ever know. Force also comes from within. There is an inner world of values, concepts, and associations to guide you on your path. A weak inner world guarantees that your progress will fester, making you slave to external forces.

Everything grows from the inside out. Having no inner foundation, you set yourself to fail at nearly all worldly events. You put no weight into what you are, subverting every action from within. A thousand false values flood you, drawing you in every direction that you do not wish to go. This is not what you seek, but what others seek for you.

Holding so little regard for your own life, you cannot see what is obviously true about you. What you know analytically is undermined by your emotions. You know but do not believe in yourself. Until you have the fortitude to act on your own judgment, your development is on hold.

Focus on your inner landscape and the exterior world will sort itself out. Every moment spent obsessing about details outside of yourself is overlooking the point. Until you make your own development your highest priority, you cannot accomplish anything else of lasting significance. Everything becomes a paltry attempt to fill the lacking within you.

Be brave as you enter the cavern within. Your tolerance for discomfort until now has been very low. You limp closer to the source of your frustration, but you never fully approach it. You remain stuck in a constant battle with yourself for dominance over your illness. The core of what you can become never reveals itself.

When you know what you are, you won’t care what the rest of the world thinks of you. You won’t even consider how they see you. The story you tell will overpower the story they prefer for their idle amusement. You can only be a character in their narrative if you are so weak that writing your own story becomes impossible. In gaining dominance over your own life, all your interactions are fortified.

Destroying your abasement for yourself will not make you invincible. It will only give you a more accurate and useful platform from which you can operate your life. You will still face challenges, but you will battle them effectively. You will earn and appreciate every personal victory.

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