Of Self

It’s been 21 days since posting anything on here. And following up on my last few posts, I am not sure that it is a bad thing. Why post something if I am not sure about it? If I am not certain of how to approach my blog, writing, or whatever, why push forward on it?

Now this may sound like I am giving in to the feelings of impostor syndrome, or that I am giving up on writing in general, it is anything but. Much in that last 20 days has been somewhat of a continuation of the self-reflective journey spurned by a few of the books that I have been reading in conjunction with the events that happened back in late September, early October. I’ve struggled to write, driven by a lack of commitment to dive back into it. Decisions had to be made.

Decisions about what I wanted to write.

Decisions on if I wanted to write. (I do.)

Decisions on how I was leading my life.

Decisions about what I truly wanted.

“The Law of Success” by Napoleon Hill appeared to be the right book at the right time for me. It is a thick volume and reads a little more like a self-help book than the treatise on business I thought it was. Being written back in the early 1900’s, it does have “facts” and “knowledge” that has been proven otherwise since, such as several passages where he blames baldness on tight-fitting hats. Rather than get stuck on the ridiculousness of such passages, where the knowledge has been updated in a manner of speaking, I chose to look for the underlying truths in what the writer was trying to convey. The underlying message in the book has been and looks to continue to be (as I continue to read through it) that success in any endeavor is a feat of the self.

Ancient wisdom, from the bible, to Greek philosophers, to the wisdom of eastern religions and philosophers, all point to the idea of knowing the self, that in discovering the truths of you, greatness in many forms flourish.

Understandably, this could be only in a manner of perspective change, that the events themselves don’t really change, rather, how you look at them is what is different in the end. For instance, maybe I am no better off financially, but given that I place a lower emphasis on financial standing that it improves in my personal understanding of it.

Napoleon goes deeper than just perspective though, to a point of using your outward thoughts to initiate a placebo/nocebo effect – in other words, getting a positive result from believing one will get a positive result, or a negative one (nocebo) when believed otherwise.

Even Henry Ford, a high example of this power of positive thinking in conjunction to success is quoted as saying: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right.”

Couple this with two other books I am actively reading (because one book is never enough), “The Coddling of the American Mind” and “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” and the lessons of each reinforce the other. (Granted, the former of those two additional books is dealing more with a trend being seen in our education system, but it argues that trend is a result of doing the opposite of what Napoleon Hill espouses in his lessons.)

I’ve been thinking a lot about writing and what I want from it as a result. Before, as I mentioned in the post “Purpose and Goals,” it still is my high goal in life. I was confused on how I wanted to get there however, or that my pursuit of it was what was driving me towards a relative displeasure in the practice. I didn’t know what was driving the doubts I was having, only that I was having them. And they were continuing to dig into my psyche deeper. I was allowing a lot of the claims that making it as a writer was a near impossible feat get the better of me.

Given all the distress I was having, I chose to allow myself to drop off from writing unless I felt an urge to write. Then, I only wrote so long as I felt the urge, dropping it the rest of the time, letting my negative outlooks on it all take the reins so that I could better observe them.

This practice in large part was driven by Napoleon’s urging that one cannot understand how to truly succeed until having a full, unbridled understanding of one’s self.

Anyway, so here I’ve been on this continual adventure, nearing forty, and still figuring out who I am and what I want to do in life.

Midlife crisis? Probably.

But not really. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, only I never understood it. I never understood myself in all of it. Like many people, I don’t have much of anything figured out, only going through life as though I am a casual observer, with writing nagging at me as though it was my kid tugging on me for me to pay attention. Where earlier this year, I was giving it a massive amount of attention, I am realizing that it was that half-hearted attention, such as the parent passing their kid a smartphone to keep them entertained…

It’s getting near time to change all that. And that time is now.


Photo by Andre Mouton from Pexels

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