I have never met anyone who did not have some higher vision for themselves. Even the non-violent inmates I have coached pro bono have imagined a loftier future self. Everybody wants to improve, and vision links action taken now to the improvement you want to make. This Firsthand Discovery is how you move confidently forward.
But are you taking full advantage of your personal experience? Are you using each day and the moments within each day to craft the best strategy for the vision you have? There is no such thing as a secondhand strategy.
You can rely on your mechanic, your doctor, and a home contractor for secondhand information about your car, your cholesterol, and your gutters. But when it comes to questions of personal growth and leading your life with integrity, purpose, and meaning, secondhand information is inadequate.
Reading an inspiring quote or The top 10 Things Successful People Do Before Breakfast is comforting. But platitudes are weak, secondhand information, no real investment here.
Firsthand information is liberating. It is personal. When you discover for yourself firsthand what works, what your destiny is, and how you will live into it. Your energy, enthusiasm, and commitment for an improved future will increase dramatically. You will run toward progress blocking everything else out. Firsthand discovery is real freedom!
The trouble is it’s scary to collect and build experience from firsthand information. You have to fearlessly explore, go where you haven’t been, voluntarily confront conflict, tension and the unknown and create a new or renewed self out of the firsthand experience.
Abraham Maslow said less than 1% of the adult population manages to reach the top of the hierarchy—self-actualization. This is due to secondhand, timid living—waiting for life to come to you rather than courageously chasing it down—leading your life.
If you continually rely only on secondhand information, you risk joining the 99% crowd of the adult population that fails to reach self-actualization. Not achieving self-actualization is the same as remaining incomplete. In a sense, you become lost in the wilderness.
If you stay incomplete, you’ll never discover the strength you have to handle adversity and move confidently forward. Also:
- Setbacks will overtake you.
- The dread of facing problems will make you shrink.
- Without direct personal attention, injustices and grievance accumulate as resentful memories that can make you bitter, cynical, and destructive. They overshadow who you really are.
Life is difficult. The difficulty can become tragic for someone who is incomplete.
On the other hand, your courageous effort toward completeness through firsthand discovery will give you the truthful information to rely on yourself for guidance. You will have the power to endure more, to face challenges head-on. You will slowly and incrementally become an ever-improving force for all that is good.
You will realize goodness is attractive and you make it so.