“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
Lucky. Blessed. Charmed. Fortunate. The adjective is unimportant; just know that I am all of those things. I have a wealth of devoted friends of both sexes who love and cherish me, who celebrate my successes and rally ‘round to support me through my failures. I have relied on these folks all my life. Perhaps too much? Recently, after having read the blog of a much younger, much wiser woman on the other side of the planet, I had an epiphany:
I have never made a decision in my adult life without first seeking advice from someone else.
This truth was a sobering realization. Why and how did this happen? Was it a confidence issue? A validation issue? Did I think my own judgment was faulty? Did I believe that my mum, dad, teachers, minister, coach, professors, husband, friends — choose one — were wiser or better equipped to make choices that only I would have to withstand?
Am I capable of making sound decisions and of living with the consequences of my choices if they’re not based upon the advice of someone else?
Questioning my confidence and defining my competencies was a bit scary. Absolutely essential, though, is that I sort this out. Thus begins this leg of my journey. Aristotle was right — knowing yourself really is a beginning…
This beginning happened at Ferris.
When I am out shooting I am free; there are no demands on me and there is nothing I have to do so I can sit quietly, turn my thoughts inward, meditate and improve my practice of Metta Bhavana. I began by pondering who am I and what my capabilities are, and finished by trying to feel metta for me — not so easy today. The rest of the stages went pretty much as usual and when I’d finished I felt the usual joyful serenity. Unfortunately, I was none the wiser regarding my subordinated decision-making.
Do I have sound analytical and reasoning skills? I don’t yet know, but what I do know is:
- Those two skills are the linchpin of decision-making proficiency; and
- Decisions matter; and
- Well-made and effectively executed decisions lead to best-case scenarios.
I want best-case scenarios – always – so, my plan is this: I will be asking my closest contacts their opinion based upon our shared history (if you get the e-mail, please be honest) and I am going to list and analyst some key decisions from my past, including who I sought advice from, the advice given and whether or not it validated or challenged my own decision. More to follow.
‘Til next time, y’all…