A cliché, but an astute observation, nonetheless. Books teach us a lot about ourselves and about the world, about life and about love. From the ephemeral, to the ethereal, to the surreal, books talk about all and yet talk about nothing. The one thing that very few people gain from books is the feelings or emotions behind each word, each character, and each punctuation mark. That is where the true knowledge resides.
Self discovery is probably one of the most important parts of everyone’s lives, regardless of whether we know it or not yet. So many people write about it in books or blogs, yet has anyone truly actualized their self. Maslow got it right, we humans have a very distinct and urgent need to ‘find ourselves’, to give our lives some meaning. However, one thing we all forget is that the only way to truly find something is to look for it at the right place.
The only way to really find our Self is by looking for it where it actually is; that is, within us, within our bodies, our souls, our hearts, and our minds. It will not be lurking in the rainforests of South America or deserts of Arabia. It will be quietly waiting for us in our souls, our own existence. However, merely knowing where to look is not enough to really find your Self either.
As Coelho put it in The Zahir, the only real way to find your Self, the meaning of your life, is by earning the right to know it. You have to earn that knowledge. You have to want it so bad that it becomes your obsession. You have to prove that you are worthy of its attention, just as you would prove your worthiness to a lover, or superior to earn their love or respect.
Regardless of how obsessed you are with everything else in life, you have to achieve the highest form of obsession if you wish to find your Self. You have to push yourself beyond all the boundaries that you have setup for your own safety and you have to push yourself even further. Only then can you actually find your true Self.
How can you do that, you ask? The answer and solution is as deep and difficult, as it is simple and shallow. You have to understand yourself, your existence, your very being. You have to understand who you are, what you are, and why you are. You have to understand that you have been sent here for a greater reason, a reason that you cannot find written in books. The answer lies deep within your soul, your heart. The moment you begin to understand yourself, you will begin to understand the true meaning of your life.
The sooner you do so, the sooner you will grow as a being, the sooner you will become more than a mere human. You will be enlightened with the knowledge of your Self, your core, your very being and you will see things from a deeper perspective. Understanding yourself is the key to understanding everything else around you. Do this, and you will have found your life’s meaning.