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How well do you really know yourself? How easy would it be for, say, a person, or corporation who tries to manipulate you and your reality, to make you doubt or even change your view of yourself, and of the world around you?

It’s healthy to have an open mind that stays curious and receptive to new ideas, experiences and information. But to safely navigate through an uncertain and ever-changing environment, it’s important to have a sense of direction, stability and an inner image of your highest, true self – a compass that reminds you of your priorities, values and principles – a knowing and trusting that you will not let yourself down at pivotal moments in life, when it matters most.

Remember, you alone have been present through each moment and experience in your life. And while an outside perspective can be useful in shedding light on some blind spots and flaws that you may not have noticed yet, no one knows and understands you better than YOU.

Only you, and some others who have witnessed the pivotal moments and experiences of your life with you, know how you respond when under pressure, or are tempted to go against your own conscience. And only you know the lessons you’ve learned and the wisdom you’ve gained from each mistake you’ve made in the past, that has shaped you into the interesting person you are today.

Truth is important, so is keeping one’s grip on reality. It can help to regularly self-reflect and question yourself about your own motives and ideas when needed. But also, learn to trust and stand up for yourself and what is important for you. Protect what is close to your heart – especially your enthusiasm for life, your integrity, your imagination and your sense of humour. While some of these things may seem trivial, they can each literally save your life. And when applied in combination, can drastically change and improve your life in a relatively short period of time.

Never take someone’s opinion of you as true and accurate if they reflect a warped, static version of you as seen through their broken lens of

  • not loving and accepting you and/or themselves,
  • not having invested the patience, time, attention and many deep questions needed to get to know you and
  • not being aware of how their own past experiences and projections may be altering their perception of you

Most importantly, never subscribe to stereotypes. Each one of us is unique in many ways and so is each relationship and situation in life. There will always be some similarities that we all have in common. Those can be useful in relating to and supporting one another. But always leave room for other humans’ uniqueness and hidden virtues to pleasantly surprise you.

We all have the potential for both good and bad. Finding, focussing on, feeding and encouraging the good in oneself and others, will starve our dark sides of energy, practice and attention, which in turn, will strengthen and uphold the good left in each of us and in this world.

Never just give up on a person, including yourself, if there’s still even just a little bit of love, hope and good left inside of them, waiting to be discovered, embraced, appreciated and nurtured into a whole lot of awesomeness.

GREG RAKOZY AHMED ZAYAN

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