“Rudy, you don’t need to re-invent yourself…; you just need to find yourself!”
As chapter 11 closes we see Katherine instilling Rudy with hope; the hope of uncovering an essence that defines his path to happiness, fulfillment and productivity. But prior to her statement she admonishes him for wanting to reinvent himself. Katherine suggests to Rudy that he need not become something he is not through reinvention–he’s already done that and it hasn’t worked very well. Rather, she advocates casting off all those things that are not him and revealing something with great potential.
Finding your “self” is the second step on your personal growth journey.
Do not expect to find your “inner child”; she is no more available to you than is the soft, unwrinkled skin that covered the body that housed her. What you will find instead is your inner adult, the once-child all grown up and matured by knowledge, experience and wisdom.
During Rudy’s quest to find himself he envisioned (metaphorically) starting over again on a level emotional playing field; it would be his choice to either soar through the heavens or dig himself into the same hole he was trying to climb out of. But here’s what you’ll find when you rediscover yourself; you’ll emerge not on level ground but at the top of a hill. It’s the hill you’ve been climbing all your adult life, struggling to get to exactly where you are right now.
You’ll look down the hill and before you is a landscape covered by all your dreams, goals and aspirations. And then it will occur to you that all those things are obtainable only by going…downhill! The struggling is over!
Finding yourself has much to do with understanding why we do the things we do, and that’s what this section is about.
Why do we do things that we know are bad for us?
And while we’re at it…
Why do we not do things we know are good for us?
The answers to these questions are actually pretty simple, and you’ll learn Sigmund Freud’s thoughts on human motivation in “Pain and Pleasure”.
I was introduced to Abraham Maslow by Dr. Wayne Dyer as I recall, and fell in love with his psychology immediately. Maslow believes that we’re all essentially good, and I like that. He teaches that each of us has a unique“inner nature” and that we all strive for “self actualization.” In other words, an acorn is meant to be an oak tree and is at its best when it is in the process of becoming one.
There is probably more power in this section than in any other on this site.
Attitudes, goals and supportive beliefs are all essential to our success; they give us a “how” to direct our behavior. But understanding the “why” of our behavior provides us with the motivation necessary to sustain our efforts at personal development. I hope these lessons pique your curiosity to learn more about your behavior and more clearly define your mission in life.
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