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Jeff Brown

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   Recent articles by
Jeff Brown

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The 14 Focal Points of Personal Growth: #4 Self-Reliance
by Jeff Brown   
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Last edited: Monday, January 14, 2008
Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2008

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Self-reliance, reliance on the self for solutions to life's greater challenges is the only way to find soulutions that work specifically for you.

I'm going to go to the master of reflection and personal understanding, the man who spent quite some time alone, reflecting on things significant to human understanding and growth: Ralph Waldo Emerson. In his transcendentalist philosophy and belief in self-reliance, he felt that a person should believe in his or her present thoughts and impressions rather than those of others. However, what I am talking about here should not be construe d as a narcissistic focus on the self. I am talking about the subconscious, the intuitive, or the connecting to the divine within, the intuitive / creative voice. And this voice or channel works best if it kept open by pure means, meaning specifically developing traits stated in the list of 14 focal points.

Now, don't think for one minute that you can stand forever separate and alone. No. That's not what I mean. There is a time and place for mentors, teachers, and coaches to get you started, up to speed, and off the ground and to keep you going. However, there is a point in everyone's human development where the umbilical cord needs to be cut. And it is at this moment that self-reliance truly comes into play. It takes time and a concerted effort to get to this point, but it is one that must be know about first and then looked to as an achievable possibility. For if we constantly look to others for help, we are not doing what humans were put here to do: grow and learn.

Remember my analogy that we begin as dependents, barely able to stand and think on our own, dependent physically, emotionally, and socially on our parents. However, it is up to us as adults to find our own path, to look within for answers to aid us in not only discovering why we are here vocationally, but to ultimately discover ourselves, an offshoot of our vocational destiny but one of greater, eternal significance.

If we don't develop reliance on our vision or how our life should progress, then we are going to other individuals who are having a difficult time understanding their own path never mind yours. I am reminded of hearing time and again first hand and second hand stories of people looking to others for help but ultimately finding help that is specific from within. It has only been through paper and pen (it begins here--training wheels--and moves to creating thought without paper) that people suffering personal tragedies (computer programmer who contracted MS; a mother with a child suffering a terminal disease) found not only solace but answers. They tried family, friends, and professionals but found complete answers only by turning to the intuitive / creative voice.

I have personally developed this insight to the point where I tell my wife time and again what we need to do in a particular situation (I feel the answer more than think it as a thought). She has come to realize now, after seeing my suggestions come to light, that when dire times occur that we go with the answer being presented to me. I have used this inner power, if you will, in simple situations (finding the airport after getting lost, late for my wife's international flight) and the not so simple (whether we should move to Texas and find full time work there or buy a house.)

Most people, with a little concerted effort, can develop this skill. It is something that we have gotten away from. My belief is that there are just too many distractions, too much noise with 150-plus channels on television, the internet--online games, gaming, social networks--endless release of movies, and so on. We need quite time on a regular basis to develop these skills of introspection. We were designed to use this skill to better guide our own lives, not leaving it solely or to a great degree up to experts who don't know, care to know, or have the time to be concerned with each person who uses their system. And there are a lot of systems, theories, answers, possibilities and options out there. So how do you determine what is best for you?

For example, time and again, as I began to develop my business, there was an endless array of options and possibilities--many people who had the answer. After a time of weeding through them, by sticking to my vision, by knowing myself (strengths, weaknesses, and talents) through concerted reflection and effort, was I able to discern what path is correct for me. And as I have continued down it (not without a lot of studying, reflection and information processing) in the direction that was meant for me as more time passes, I become more and more assured that I am doing what is correct . . . for me.

Advice is nice. But knowing is better.

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