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Trust Yourself

Why place your judgment in someone else’s hands?

When you say, “I can’t trust my own judgment,” then how can you trust your own judgment enough to know that you’re really untrustworthy?

When you say, “I can’t be trusted to make good decisions. Therefore, I’m going to let other people make my decisions for me,” how can you be trusted to make good decisions about who is and who isn’t capable of making good decisions?

It’s impossible to deny your own trustworthiness without simultaneously affirming it.

So, trust yourself. You already do. Now it’s time to own it.

 

 

Follow Forward: An Alternative to Following Back

follow-me-and-i-ll-follow-back-2Follow the people you’re interested in, not the people who promise to follow you back as a reward for feigning interest.

Following back is reactive. It says “I’ll follow you if you follow me” or “I’ll give you my attention if you give me your attention.”

As an alternative to following back, I offer the concept of following forward.

Following forward is about orienting your activities around a forward-looking focus on the interests, interactions, and ideas that move you towards your goals.

Following forward says, “If you’re doing something interesting, I give myself permission to take delight in your gift whether you want to be my fan or not.”

Following forward says “I will never turn away from what fascinates me merely because it fails to offer the promise of greater popularity.”

The value of social media lies in its capacity to facilitate real connections with real people based on real preferences and real passions; not in its potential for making us appear more connected than we actually are.

Instead of following people who make you seem like you’re the person you wish you were, follow people who will help you become the person you intend to be.

You Haven’t Practiced Until You’ve Performed

“One more seminar. One more book. One more coaching session. One more practice run-through. Then I can start,” we think.

Why not start now? Why not grow on the go? Why not learn while you live? Why not conceptualize while you create? Why not improve while you move?

Who sold us on this false dichotomy between learning and doing?

Practice is part and parcel of performance.

 

Bring it Forth

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.” -Gospel of Thomas

Self-censorship is a subtle demon. It robs us of our beauty in the name of keeping the peace or staying out of trouble.

It always presents itself as our ally, as a benevolent friend who is only there to protect our best interests. And in the process, we find ourselves never laughing at the jokes we really think are funny, never making the observations we really think are fascinating, never arguing the points we really think are compelling, never investing in the causes whose effects we really wish to see produced, and never living a life that really feels like living.

I’m not sure if there’s any greater enemy of all that is good than self-censorship. Certainly there is room for diplomacy and tact, but what use is there for diplomacy and tact if one is not rigorously involved in the act of self-expression? Diplomacy and tact are there to support, not stifle, self-expression.

Maybe all the world’s evils come not from the unregulated expression of impulses that should be kept in, but rather from the fear-based suppression of ideas, inclinations, and interests that should be let out.

Maybe evil is nothing more than the distorted sounds and horrific sights we create when we respond to our convictions by smothering their voice and strangling them to death.

Maybe the best thing we can do for the world is to risk sounding dumb, risk being misunderstood, risk irritating someone, risk being condemned by those who tell us the world doesn’t need anymore noise, and assert our right and responsibility to bring forth what is within us.

Be a person, not a parrot

Spread the ideas that turn you on, not the ones you think people will like you for; not the ones that create the fewest amount of enemies; not the ones that grant you immunity from ever being thought of as strange, odd, or eccentric.

The risk-free stuff is already spoken for.

The world is already inundated with approval-obsessed conformists who will never deviate from what they believe is guaranteed to work. Don’t join their clubs. Don’t reinforce their philosophy of fear. Don’t humor their idolization of the known, the familiar, the tried, the safe.

Be a person, not a parrot.

Speak the message that your true self demands of you.

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