The Road to Self Actualization – Blog Post 0024

It's only when we put our thoughts into written form that we can begin to have a better understanding of what we're actually thinking. Thoughts are often fuzzy, scattered, unreliable. Our minds tend to jump from one topic to another without fully analyzing our ideas and musings. We all have a tendency to fool ourselves into believing certain things that can easily be shown to be false when properly scrutinized. And it's easy to deceive others when we're not obligated to produce a written record of our thoughts and arguments because this allows us to pseudo-commit to what we are saying. Without written proof, we can always backtrack and alter our language and its intended meaning to counter the opposition's arguments. But if our goal is truth, and by truth I mean getting down to the mechanics of how things actually work, then we need to commit ourselves to the things we say by storing our statements in a physical medium that can be scrutinized by others.

But it's not enough to simply document our thoughts and ideas because our thoughts and ideas are usually abstract by their very nature. We need to refine our thoughts and ideas and state them in a specific way so as to make them testable. It's not enough to say that an action or an intention is good. We need to define the outcomes of the action/intention that would produce this state of goodness. Likewise, if we perform a similar action over and over again and it produces outcomes that are inconsistent with our intended outcomes, we must rethink our original hypothesis.

Introspective work like this isn't particularly easy, and as a result, most people will fail to do it. But they will also suffer the consequence of being imprisoned by the thoughts and ideologies of others. We all begin as products of our environments, mimicking the beliefs and actions of the communities that reared us. But in order to achieve self-actualization we need to challenge those orthodoxies and challenge the very reality that our communities programmed into us. This process is not pleasant as it involves killing off parts of ourselves that feel like the core building blocks of reality. But in the words of Steve Jobs, ...death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”

The old may be comforting, predictable and easy but holding onto the old is clinging to death. Don't cling to death.

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