Your gifts are more than you think they are.

A strength is more than an ability. It is an offering. It is the first way you find your place in a crowded human world. Your strengths might not be limited to whatever you currently think they are. They are not so obvious or neatly categorized as the world would have you believe. To know them thoroughly, you will have to dig deep into the catacombs of your body and mind.

You’ve no doubt often heard others lament that they may never be the very best at anything they do. Maybe you’ve even been guilty of this flawed thinking yourself. These people have been robbed of their individuality by society’s obsession with simple measuring. They’ve overlooked the subtext, the nuanced combination of qualities that make them who they are. You must focus on the invisible, the spaces between things that others miss.

You’ve been taught to take for granted the minor details that set you apart from everyone else, even learning to be ashamed of what makes you different. You have covered up who you are to maintain the illusion of normality. But you are not normal. You cannot judge yourself by the same standards that they use. Now is the time to eliminate this corrupt program and settle back into what you really are: exceptional in ways you cannot yet even imagine.

Each trait that is uncommon about you might seem inconsequential on its own. In the wrong circumstances, each is even detrimental to your goals, appearing more as a weakness than a strength. Nothing in the world is universally preferable. What aides you in one situation will kill you in another. Commanding full use of your strengths is about understanding how to match them to the environments that demand them. Only then can you be said to have become their master. Context is everything.

Arranged in a complementary way, your uncommon characteristics become noteworthy. This is the path for those who have ample patience to see their underlying faculties develop into measurable abilities. Very often, those who begin life with the least ability to perform go on to outpace their peers later in life, and continue their acceleration until they die. A practitioner of many diverse traits has endless options to blend them. Never believe that you must specialize to be useful.

The primordial skill you must acquire is to see the hidden principles from which your visible skills are derived. The same ingredients can be put together in many ways, presented under the guise of many distinct dishes. Because the world trained you to build your identity around specific actions that set you apart from you peers, you never considered your unseen pool of potential. Nothing is ever just one thing. So long as you are aware of your own physical and mental repertoire and you understand the constituents of any new task before, there is only a learning curve to overcome before you own it. In this way, understanding your natural strengths keeps you growing and growing.

You will recognize your strengths when the things that are taxing for others will seem mundane in your perspective. You may not even notice them. That’s the great trap that makes us miss what we can do well. When you can perform at a high level, with little conscious effort, when others around falter, you have found one of your natural faculties. You arrive at answers without thinking. You know the right thing to do with barely any assessment. You visualize the result you want and your body conforms to make it happen as you foresaw.

With enough training, anyone can improve their abilities in a given domain. Luck and practice can make incredible things achievable to everyone. But your natural strengths won’t rely on ideal conditions and repeated exposure. This is what you will offer the world. This is how you will serve other people: by remaining calm and controlled when others feel the ill effects of stress. Your primordial configuration means you don’t resist the challenges they do. Apply these unique gifts in their ideal environment.

Know yourself. Understand what you are capable of through the rigors of trial and error under as many conditions as you can. Learn to see other people as a control group for examining yourself. Now you’ve started to acquire meaningful definition. Now, you have a foundation to build upon. Your natural gifts are only the beginning.

However great your unconscious competence may be, you have the power to elevate your strengths further through conscious breakdown of the principles of their operation. This is called learning, and it is the most potent strength of all. It is what opens the door to skill development, and turns potential into actionable power.

Master every emotion in your head.

Your emotions are tools. They can be a hammer to build a house or tear one down. Every emotion has a productive use, but it is up to you to apply them appropriately. The misapplication of emotion creates a chain reaction of chaotic events within yourself and in the people around you. In the worst cases, you create a feedback loop of inappropriate emotions. Emotion builds between everyone involved, keeping them trapped in a harmful interpretation. You get inappropriately angry about something, which makes everyone around angry about your anger, and the closed loop sustains itself. Your priority is to break free and act with purpose.

Ignore anyone who tells you to deny your emotions. It is never wise to run from something simply because you do not understand it. The problem is lack of familiarity, lack of knowledge. Investigate your emotions. Inspect them so that you may understand why you respond to things the ways you do. Only when you get close to your emotions can you begin to permanently alter them to a more useful state.

If any of your emotions, positive or negative, overwhelm you, it means you have not mastered them. When you conquer their influence, you will be able to harness them for specific goals. Each emotion will have a purpose again in your life. Each is the result of millions of years of evolutionary cognitive development. Each is a gift you should not waste. You are so used to wasting or denying them that you cannot see their function. The wrong emotion overtakes you at the wrong moment because you haven’t learned how to apply them. Now, you can begin to look at familiar emotions with new eyes.

Negative emotions often carry the most important function of all. That is why we remember pain more than pleasure, and insults affect us more than compliments. Sadness is pain directed inward to yourself. It promotes deep self-reflection when you feel that you are somehow inadequate. Dwelling on mistakes helps you learn what went wrong so you don’t needlessly repeat them. It gives you incentive to succeed and avoid the repeated pain of future failure. Only through deep reflection on the source of your sadness can you naturally move past it and carry on with your life in a higher state of ability.

Anger, being pain distributed outward, is a powerfully targeted emotion. It brings urgency to a task and focus to a mission. Only to tap into the power of anger, you must learn how to hone it, or else risk it spilling over into blind rage. Harnessing anger, for a short time, is incredibly potent for the goal-oriented person. As you examine your anger, simply ask yourself why something outside of yourself has the power to bring you to such a fiery state. The answer to this question is what determines whether the external source is controlling you or empowering you. Then you have to use that power.

Passion is what happens when you are fully engaged with what you are doing. You learn how to ride the changing waves of emotions and use each as needed. The great trap is getting addicted to certain emotional shifts, never being able to settle back into neutrality. When you realize that the purpose of any emotion is to correct your behavior and bring you back to neutral, you appreciate more the empty space of resolution. You are grateful for all your emotions when they work to correct the various imbalances brought about by your experiences.

Do not let happiness blind you. The emotional reward of joy comes to us when we have done something to earn it. Those who preach that you should be happy in every situation do not understand the importance of context and spectrum. They squander the motivational power of positive feelings. When everything is positive, incentive is dulled. A man’s great power is neutered because he has nothing to strive toward. It is no accident that the most perpetually happy are also the most idle, and those who accomplish the greatest deeds have spent a lifetime dwelling intently in their capacity for suffering.

Emotions cease to serve you when they linger too long between moments, well after the inciting agent has passed. When you aren’t fluid with your emotions, the wrong tool gets applied in the wrong situation. Emotions themselves are blamed, when in reality they were just misapplied by an unskilled master. Any tool is only as effective as the person using it. Master when to access your emotional repertoire and when to relinquish access. You will become far more effective in everything you ever do.

Make emotion your ally by knowing its role. Understand how to apply it so that you can work congruently with your environment, not against it. When you see that some emotions recur too often and occupy too much space in your mind, ask yourself how you have been trained to feel this way. Pay less attention to the cacophony within you, and more to what your environment truly demands. Structure the noise into music that matches the terrain. Otherwise, you are not experiencing reality. You are living out a chronic delusion, battling imaginary ghosts and reveling in unearned rewards.

Don’t believe the narrative of other people’s emotions either. Just because they feel something strongly does not obligate you to match them where they are. Resist their temptation by being the stronger emotional influence. They may hate you for not validating what they believe they are right to feel. Let them meet you in neutrality when they are ready to give up their addictions. It is imperative that you do not allow them to become detriments to your growth. Every exceptional person knows when to sacrifice what he has for the sake of his own existence.

When you are free from the slavery of your own emotions, you can focus on developing your strengths. You can begin to act with clarity and purpose.

Reboot your operating system.

The first step to breaking free from the past is changing how your brain operates. More important than what you experience will be how you interpret your experiences. The same conditions witnessed by different people will create quite different effects. Your mind is a factory for turning raw observation into elaborate paradigms of meaning.

Why is extended time spent in isolation considered the worst punishment a person can endure by some, but a dear luxury to others who will go to great length to acquire it? Being alone with their own thoughts drives some people insane. For others, it is the most direct path to sanity. Each uses a different operating system to make sense of the world and their place within it. Each responds differently to what they encounter within themselves.

Your mindset is how you make sense of what happens to you and apply meaning to experience. It leads you to act in your own signature way as a response to the environment you are in. The patterns of your responses define your visible personality. Everything anyone else knows about you is a description of how your mind orders the chaos of its observations. You think it is a static thing, but in reality you are constantly creating it with each new action and interpretation.

Changing your mindset changes the course of your entire life. To become exceptional, you must immediately learn to see the world and your role within it in a new way. You are not the victim of your circumstances any longer. You are an interpreter given a lifetime of observational data to play with. You can test the flexibility of your mind. You can make whatever meaning you want. You can uncover the inner workings of yourself and society that so few ever acknowledge, if only you learn to harness your own mindset as the tool it really is. The day you do this is the day you stop being a product of your past and become an engineer for the version of the future you want.

Begin now by reexamining everything in your life that has come before this moment. Take something deeply familiar to you and will yourself to look at it with the eyes of a stranger. Do you see where you have added meaning to it through repeated exposure? When you can remove from your mind even the fundamental presuppositions of how reality ought to work, you have freed yourself from the world’s operating system. You are now ready to assign your own meaning.

You will have the most difficult time doing this with anything that carries automatic emotional associations in your mind. Before you even think about what something is and how it works, you may intuitively feel something about it. These unconscious emotions can be positive or negative, but they always color your interpretation of things. They are the most difficult to remove because there is nearly no space between the external stimulus and internal response.

Train yourself to question every emotion you feel. Emotions are not the enemy, but left unexamined they can lead you astray. No matter what you feel, look for the underlying causal factors. Ask yourself why something should make you so instantly joyful, terrified, enamored, or devastated. Realize which responses are not serving your identity and begin the difficult process of weaning your mind off of them.

There is great responsibility in rewriting the meaning of all things. Now you alone are the author of the story, and no one else can be blamed for how you have written things. Only an exceptional mind is ready for such a grand burden.

Who Do You Think You Are?

Your identity is, by default, defined by where you were born or the way you were raised. But it should not be this way. Nor should it be with your ability to do what you want in life.

It is tempting to settle with the influences we have early in life. They give us guidelines that we think that we can always fall back on when the life’s new challenges come too quickly or hit us too hard. If you have the courage to undo the foundations of your upbringing, you will open yourself to all the versions of yourself that you can become. This is how you figure out what you actually care about.

With enough breadth of experience, you reach a turning point with your life. You are no longer solely a consumer of influence. You start to produce influence for others to use. The specific type of influence you become known for is what will determine your place in the world among the rest of humanity. Reaching this point authentically is vital to your sustained appreciation for life. All other paths lead to eventual misery and a sense of separation from yourself.

The only reason you don’t already know who you are is because you have never had to seriously ponder the question. The world has always provided you a thousand prepared identities to fill your developing mind. There was never enough empty space for the discovery process to begin. Now that you have seen the empty space, you have only to make the choice to continue questioning the ideas already floating around in your head. You need only continue pursuing your thirst for the truth about yourself.

Finding yourself is not about adding more ingredients to your mental mix. It is about removing everything except the most essential parts of your experience. It is about reducing everything in your awareness to its simplest possible state, and resting in that achievement until motion is again needed.

The purpose of living (not the purpose of life) is to implement your true identity in the world. Every action you ever take stems from your present knowledge of self. Self should not be defined by the distractions in your mind or the relationships you’ve formed. Don’t allow yourself to be limited to the memories of how you’ve interacted with the world so far. You are bigger than that. Self is something primordial about you that must be arrived at, remembered, through the trials of pure inquiry.

Sometimes the inquiry is passive. Why did Jesus wait in the dessert for 40 days to “hear the voice of God”? Why did Buddha decide to meditate under the Bodhi tree after all his active experiments to reach enlightenment had failed? Insanity needs space to evaporate from the mind and dissolve into nothingness. In the aftermath, you will know that only you remain.

Your development is only now beginning. Your interests and abilities can be combined into something unique and powerful. The creature you emerge as can be a force for progress, but only if you are confident in expressing yourself. No matter what else the world concerns itself with, you will always have the option to stand tall and alter the flow of human thinking. But you won’t know what you really are until you’ve tried (and failed many times) to become more than what you think you are. It’s time to begin.

Follow the mythological path in life.

Our lives become a part of mythology when we pursue personal transformation through primordial patterns in the human psyche. We follow the hardwired path to arrive at superior versions of ourselves. The stories which have recurred with the greatest longevity in our cultures are those which appeal most profoundly to our underlying program for progression through life. They begin to form a map for how we can transform, a map which has been tested countless times over the years. They can be a light to show the way or a warning against failure.

With any great personal change, you follow the pattern of myth, as it reflects the underlying program of your mind. Different myths will have their own appeal at different stages of your journey. It will depend on the trials you have already passed and the knowledge you have acquired. Work past yesterday’s lessons to receive what comes next in the progression. Without mythological progress, people spend years stuck in a contained narrative loop, never learning the lessons of their trials. On the mythological path, you move as efficiently as you can from one escalating problem to the next. You take on what you are ready for as soon as you are ready. If your problems aren’t progressing, you aren’t ready for them to do so.

You’ll recognize where you are in the process by what mythological structures you find appealing. Stories of redemption remind us that we have something to redeem within ourselves. We revere parental relationships in fiction due to our primordial programming toward our own imperfect parents. When a mythological structure holds power in your life, pay it close attention. Look for the lesson that is waiting to seep into your mind. The most powerful hero myths persist across generations because they remind us of our potential to evolve and overcome. When you are ready, you will stop telling the myth and start living it.

You leave the comfort of your starting conditions. You enter the strange new world and discover something meaningful there. You take this discovery back home with you, altering your original conditions to match you. Every tale of character development, no matter the details, holds this at its core. From comfort, we go to discomfort, until it becomes a comfortable part of our new selves. The myth is cyclical, repeating on a larger scale with each return to normality.

Only a person operating authentically can follow the mythological path in life. They are the only ones who can learn the lessons each trial presents to them. Some people have so little self-worth that it destroys their ability to act at all. Others pursue external validation to fill the hole inside. They need to show themselves off, make themselves as big and important as they can in the narrative of the world. But their presence, however large, is not real. When this happens, they’ve trapped themselves in a prison of their own false self. Every action becomes about maintaining the illusion out of which they have built their armored cell.

Where they fail, you will succeed. Your great actions will not be demonstrating anything in the eyes of others. You will not work to conform your identity to the prevailing social narrative. You will only follow the logical thread of your authentic identity. The recurring themes in your life will be the mirrors that show you who you really are and where you currently are in the progression. Your repeated conflicts are the weaknesses you have yet to overcome. Your dragon is the great obstacle you cannot accept in the world. Your princess is your reward: the thing which is, ultimately, more important to you than any other achievement. You can learn from the many myths of heroes who came before you, fictitious or real. Use their lessons to find your own mythological path in life.

Your life is a series of narratives.

Narrative is selective truth. It is the little patches of reality that contribute to a cumulative purpose. Narrative is always in the eye of the beholder, for he selects which parts of reality he considers important for his own purposes. To know your narrative in life is to know which end you are trying to reach. It is paying attention to the parts of your experience which bring you closer to that state.

Without narrative, life is a stream of chaos, absent of order. Meaningful progress becomes impossible, because you have no way to measure how far you are from your goal. There are no means to determine the significance of past events, or what you must do next. Narrative is the map of a purposeful life. It is the formula for excellence created in a specific way.

Look for the overarching narrative theme to the incidental events of your life. This is how you create progress. The theme builds upon itself with each new experience. Small stories either contribute to the larger meaning behind your life, or else they loop endlessly, dooming us to solve the same problems time and again until we expire. When you understand your narrative, you know what lessons every trial has to teach you about yourself. You embrace these lessons at every opportunity.

What narrative are you in right now? Get over your heartbreak so you can learn to love again. Prove your love to someone who matters. Cut the correct wire before the ticking bomb goes off. Beat the bad guy, save the girl, and ride off into the sunset. When one narrative reaches its conclusion, the start of another is surely soon to follow.

You are never living just one life. You are living a series of many lives, concurrently and sequentially. A new life begins with each new problem you dedicate your life’s resources to solving. The setting is established by the conditions you are already accustomed to. An inciting incident alters the status quo, bringing a series of signature challenges. Your character must change himself and acquire the tools he will need to surmount these obstacles, before vanquishing the source of the dismay. The world is restored, but your character is never the same.

Life’s narratives arise organically as a component of living. You can’t help but react to the universe’s random changes of within this framework. To begin to write your own narratives, you must first live beyond narratives. You must learn to look at your life without this imposed order to your experiences. Then you can select for yourself the story you are trying to tell out of all the themes available. This is the only way to direct the actions of your life toward the outcome you desire: by making a conscious choice about the problems that consume you.

Love without discrimination is meaningless.

Love, in its most basic form, is a shared sense of identity. It is not limited to the ideal romantic narratives we learn from Hollywood and society’s other public storytellers. You love an object because it enables you to express who you are. It complements your sense of identity. You love a famous person because you see parts of them in yourself, or at least parts of them you wish were in yourself. You love another person in a deep and personal way because you are capable of empathizing with them as though you were living the same life.

The strongest romantic pair bonds embody this identification on a practical level by living a shared existence for the remainder of life. All healthy people have a primordial instinct to put the needs of their young children above their own. Such extreme identification as parental love is essential for the survival of our species.

Love then, without discrimination, becomes completely meaningless. To love all thing is to identify with each the same way and to the same degree. It means you do not know what you are and what you are not. A claim of universal or unconditional love is an admission of low self-knowledge. It is impotent love without preference or prioritization. It means you do not know what you stand for out of all the possibilities that come with the human experience.

The ability to choose what you prefer (to discriminate) in any domain is where the potential for all momentum originates. Every major action a man can ever take stems from his preference or non-preference for what he experiences. He is either actively pursuing or actively avoiding what he knows of reality. Therefore, the greatest possible actions are only open to those who know the most about reality and their person discrimination over it.

What would you fight for? Who would you live and die for? These are terrifying questions to ordinary people who do not know their own potential for suffering or pleasure. To choose what you want with authentic desire is the most powerful of human acts in the world. All other action stems from the inciting incident of choice.

Choice is what will unlock your ability to accomplish your most heroic deeds. Discrimination is what will unlock the path you will follow and the battles you will fight. Choose wisely.

“But Gregory, why on Earth do you need so many passports?”

Nationalism is the most prevalent form of collective pseudo-identity on the planet. From the moment you are born, your mind is imbued with the idea that the country around you, with its endless laws and cultural values, is an essential part of what makes you who you are. It is so easy to forget that countries do not exist in nature. They are a relatively recent phenomenon in human social development. They’ve also changed rapidly in the past few generations with advances in technology and intercultural influence. What has not changed, however, is the religious insistence that we honor their labels as an immutable part of who we are as individuals.

With a fluid mind comes the ability to pick and choose for yourself what values to adopt into the labyrinth of you. You are not forced to align yourself with any existing collection of ideals. Practically speaking though, you cannot avoid the fact that ordinary humans have segmented our planet into unstable imaginary sections delineated by international boundaries. Until the common man and woman are ready to live without the limits they have put on themselves, we will all be subject to their errors.

Since it is not practical (and in most cases impossible) to exist beyond the influence of nationstates, the next best option for the exceptional person seeking to expand his identity is to embrace multiple nationalities. We live in rapidly changing political and economic times, and no one can guarantee that things at home will always be as prosperous as we have grown accustomed to them being. But becoming a multinational person is about more than just preparing for monetary collapse or government tyranny. It’s about acquiring the tools to do what you want with your own life.

Maintaining citizenship in multiple countries is appropriate for anyone who feels their ambitions may be limited by the place they were born. The most obvious example is visa-free travel to other nations. Every country on earth maintains policies concerning which citizens of other nations may enter without first acquiring special permission. Governments can limit the amount of time spent inside their own borders, or even outright ban certain nationalities from entering at all. Unfairly, citizens of the most economically developed nations tend to have the greatest travel freedom.

The restrictions of your nationality don’t end at how easily you will be able to cross international borders. Socially, you will be judged by the tribe you identify with. What is considered an asset in one place may be a liability in another. The social advantage of belonging to more than one club is that you be able to choose from multiple options how to present yourself to others. Being American carries an enormous amount of both positive and negative associations almost anywhere in the world. You may be granted instant celebrity status, instant hostility, or anything in between. By also being part of the French, Colombian, or Mongolian national tribes, for example, you will have access to a wider range of automatic perception options.

Perhaps most importantly, as a single nation citizen you are subject to whatever arbitrary policies and hierarchical changes occur in your home country. Americans have historically held many advantages over most of the rest of the world, but also have more control upon them through worldwide taxation and controversial foreign policy. If you ever do anything to displease the institutions ruling your life, you will be at their mercy without other options to turn to. This is even more pertinent if you ever want to leave your home country permanently. International diversification gives you options.

You owe it to yourself to stretch your life beyond the limits of nationality. Political boundaries will always be in flux. The rules for engagement are perpetually subject to change. You cannot be so impressionable as to allow this to alter who you fundamentally are. Expand beyond the chains of ordinary people. Be more than multinational. Let yourself become supernational.

The Role of Money for Greater Personal Happiness

Money is fantastic tool in principle. However, its implementation has always been flawed.

Money is humanity’s imperfect attempt to objectivize countless subjective valuations. Value exists only in the opinion of the individual beholder. It is a measure of personal happiness. What makes one person happy will not work the same for another, even in identical circumstances. It is natural for everyone to seek out the actions, ideas, and items which aid them most according to their own valuations.

We all seek greater collective happiness by working together than by working alone. Primitive societies functioned by exchanging the direct fruits of their labor. Each in-group member could produce something of at least marginally different value than the others. The diversity of ever-shifting needs within the group could never be fully satisfied. It is the ability to recognize and fulfill other people’s needs that opens the door to economic leverage. It revolves around mutual respect and agreement.

If there was ever something that nearly everybody within the closed system of exchange wanted on a consistent basis, that good became a commodity among its users. The value of commodities is derived from the fact that other people want them, instead of their intrinsic utility. So long as a closed group remained in collective agreement that a particular item was worth having, a person could become wealthier and wealthier by accumulating more and more of these items. This is how money was born.

Metals became the favored choice for commodity money because they could be weighed to an exact quantity and were easily divisible. Fungibility meant that one ounce of any pure metal was, for practical purposes, identical to all others. Gold and silver were used for coinage due to their rarity, durability, and ease of identification, becoming synonymous with money itself. The face on a coin became a symbol of its legitimacy and value. Reputation-based currency made monetary transactions more efficient for everyone.

Paper banknotes were later created to represent metal, which itself was still just a representation of this subjective thing called value. A person could deposit pounds of gold in a bank for safe keeping, and receive a single paper certificate in return. So long as the institution holding the metal was reputable, the paper was as good as gold. In modern times, money need no longer be contained physically by metal or even paper. It is transferred instantaneously as digital code.

In recent centuries, governments the world over have created fiat money no longer representative of precious metals. This is money valued on the arbitrary whim of regulating bodies. Every fiat currency is subject to hyperinflation, or the degradation over time of the value it represents (often to the point where the money itself becomes functionally useless). It is simply not practical to have to transport a wheelbarrow full of bills across town to buy your daily loaf of bread.

The more you understand the nature of money and how it has been used since early times until now, the more you will be able to make it work for you in the attainment of your own goals. It will not hold power over you as it does for the majority of people who are either impoverished or devote all their productive energies to sustaining a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle. Money is the language of human exchange.

Raising a Child to Be Themselves

Each of us will be raising our children in a world quite different from the one we grew up in. We cannot prepare them for the challenges they will face using what we learned under our own upbringing. Only if they value humility will they be ready to meet the demands of perpetual change our world is creating. This can only happen when parents conquer their allegiance to their own dead past. Parents themselves must embrace neoteny to become childlike learners again, always questioning everything they thought to be true. It requires a total allegiance to honesty, never ignoring new information that invalidates one’s most cherished beliefs. They must maintain, throughout life, the innate curiosity that is commonly lost in adulthood as we grow too comfortable in our surroundings.

To raise a child is to invest a part of yourself into the identity of another person. That investment returns daily through the demands children create to see their parents grow themselves. If you are open to it, you’ll find that your kids have just as much to teach you as you do them, so long as you view things through their undeveloped eyes. Children tether us to growth. They can unlock our emotional capacity, which is why immature adults are often so uncomfortable around them. They expose the parts of us we work so hard to keep hidden. Every child is pleading for adults to show them that the world is a safe place to express themselves. Your mission is to pass on what you have learned, but give them the space to find their own identities.

The fallacy of influencers is believing it is their job to implant others’ minds with the same ideas they have come to believe over the course of their own personal journey. This attitude is the enemy of progress. Everyone begins the journey anew in a different time and under different externalities. Some will take up the mantle where you left off – but it will not be the exactly the same. Adaptation means solving today’s problems today, and laying ground for whatever tomorrow’s problems may be. If we cannot get out of our own way, we replicate the same problems we already know how to solve.

Those secure in their own identity do not need to force it on others. Everyone naturally wants to share their values with those who will listen, but only broken people try to turn others into copies of themselves. Taking on a leadership role means helping others become who they are, not becoming more like the way you have discovered yourself to be. Arbitrary importance given to the self is a form of subtle narcissism. The final battle, and the one so many people come so far just to lose, is simply getting over yourself. Everything both begins and ends with you. You are the most important thing in the universe and utterly insignificant. When you can accept these dual truths, you will be ready to take the rest of us to where we need to be, in our own way and time.