The biggest problem the world has isn’t a lack of scholars, but a lack of people who are self-aware, possessing “emotional intelligence” (to borrow a term from Daniel Goleman). Peace is essential to prosperity, and the biggest threat to peace is misunderstandings — not understanding ourselves and not understanding others. The better you know yourself, the better you can know others.
Blaise Pascal was right, “all of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Inner wisdom is discovered in such moments. We spend much of our time running from ourselves, when we should be running toward ourselves.
Self-discovery is connected to our relationship with others, but it’s also connected to our relationship with God. What we believe about God and his expectations for us is vital to what we believe about ourselves.
Self-discovery is about becoming aware of who you really are, rather than what culture has told you that you should be. Self-discovery is about no longer striving to be what you think others will admire.
Listening to others is important. We learn from their perspectives. But equally important is spending time alone, in peaceful surroundings. Peaceful surroundings doesn’t mean absolute silence. It means the absence of distractions and outside influences. If you’re always listening to others, you’ll just become the sum of everyone else’s ideas.
Your deepest thoughts can’t be heard unless you make space for them to be heard. Without time to think, you’ll have difficulty developing a personal philosophy. Without time to yourself, you won’t have anything to keep you grounded. You’ll fall into all sorts of traps, and you’ll find it difficult to resist the negative influences of others.
You have to guard your quiet time and really make use of it. This is our time with God. This is sacred time. This is when you connect with your true self. This is when you are reminded how to be at peace in the storm, and the importance of love. This is where you’ll find comfort and guidance.
Originally published on my personal blog LivingWithConfidence.net