Thursday, July 27, 2006

On understanding and using your will

" We like to lie to ourselves a lot about why we do things, because often our true purpose isn’t very nice or noble and doesn’t fit the ideal image we have of ourselves. You can’t know what your will is if you lie to yourself. There should always be at least one person with whom you are completely open and painfully honest, and that person should be you.

Give yourself permission to be imperfect, and realize that if what you see when you look inside isn’t very pretty — well, that too is your will. Besides, nobody else has to know your ugly, secret truths if you don’t want them to — and everybody else has their horrid little secrets. It’s called being human. Cut yourself some slack. It goes good on crackers.

By determining what your will is, you bring it into the light where you can examine it. Perhaps you’ll find that what you are willing is not what you really want, and you are now in a position to change it. Or perhaps you’ll find that you don’t want to change it, but you can accomplish it in a better way. Sometimes you’ll realize that when you thought you were being good, your were actually being bad — or the other way around. Or that your action won’t actually accomplish your true will, but is a mistake no matter how you look at it. Even if you are about to do something nasty, by knowing what you’re really up to you can at least do it well and minimize the consequences for yourself and innocent bystanders. If you’re going to do something, whether saintly or despicable, do it right. Step one is to know what you’re trying to do.

“Do what thou wilst shall be the whole of the law” means to live on purpose, and doing that lets you live better than you can if you just stumble your way through."

Click for the rest of the essay
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