“Oh Lord, know yourself, know your worth” – Drake
In a world with over 7.4 billion people, living in 195 countries, speaking roughly 6,500 languages, it’s easy to feel small. To think there are a million people just like us and that we have no intrinsic abilities that separate us from the masses.
Humans have organized the world in a very intelligent way, especially in the more developed countries. First assuring that from an early age everyone learns a set of basic skills essential to most areas of life, and then giving people a choice to pursue a role in life which they devote themselves to in exchange for the resources only others can produce. Yet, there’s a bit of a defect in this system. When you start bunching the entire spectrum of 5-year-old kids with grown adults treating them uniformly and holding each one to the same standards, two things begin to happen.
One, they start to feel like an indistinguishable member of a large group. Second, they start to develop inferiority complexes when they aren’t as good at something as the next kid over. Throughout elementary school, I was terrible at spelling. I can remember my first-grade teacher frequently commenting on how I was the only one in the class who had yet to score a single hundred on a spelling test.
Then I am reminded, every one of us is unique. Each one of us has roughly nineteen thousand genes, each of which varies from person to person. So yes, we all have weaknesses. Weaknesses which we struggle with from time to time, regardless of how smart, strong, friendly, attractive or wealthy we may be. But, we also have strengths beyond our wildest dreams, just waiting to be developed. And remember, it only takes one talent to earn your place in this world.
I suck at spelling even to this day. Yet, here I am, writing an Adventurself post. I’m also an incredibly slow reader, often having to read a single sentence a couple of times before understanding what I just read. But you know what? These weaknesses make writing a very slow, laborious, yet fun process for me; giving me plenty of time to think about each sentence and idea from many perspectives.
As a slave to circumstance, you can help a limited amount of people and only in small ways. But as a free person and master of yourself, you can revolutionize life itself. Abraham Lincoln came from absolutely nothing to one of United States greatest presidents. Tom Brady was a 6th round draft pick and is now widely considered the most accomplished NFL quarterback of all time. Gunpei Yokoi, the inventor of the Gameboy and the creator of the Metroid series, started working at Nintendo as a machine maintenance worker. The path to self-mastery is through self-love.
Only by acknowledging, praising and then working on your strong traits and hidden talents can you grow into your true potential.
Perhaps self-love is something that should be promoted in schools to balance out the natural tendency on the part of the child, to blend into the white noise of mediocrity. Self-love is not narcissistic unless I suppose you take full credit for your creation. When you get to know yourself, you’ll find that there are a lot of powers to potentially develop. When you love yourself enough to rely on your abilities instead of being dependent on others, the easier it’ll be for those around you to love you too.
Practicing self-love does not mean putting yourself before anyone or anything, especially at the expense of others. As I’ve said before, the goal in this interdependent reality is to serve others in return for their services. Self-love is developing a healthy appreciation for your powers and production capability, ensuring that we don’t lose or under develop those abilities that make our services possible.
I hope you can see the importance of dedicating your life to serving others while simultaneously loving and respecting yourself for being able to do so. The time is now to dive deep within yourself and figure out what it is you value and why. All of our successes and failures are our own; circumstance cannot be forced on us unless we allow it. Take the time to find yourself, and you’ll discover just what an incredible person you truly are.