When I was in high school I liked the band, “The Sex Pistols.”
They did a cover of the Who song, “Substitute.”
But apparently they didn’t bother getting the proper approvals from the proper authorities.
Right before the song starts, you can hear Johnny Rotten say, “You don’t need permission for anything!”
As an anti-authority, non-conformist high school student, that statement has always stayed with me.
Of course, few people can always act without “permission.”
Because when we get permission from somebody, especially a recognized authority figure, it kind of takes away the risk.
If something goes wrong, it’s not really our fault.
“But they said it was OK!” We innocently cry.
Even if it’s trying to something on your own, people still need as if they need “permission.”
Many people are hesitant about trying something new unless they see many others go first.
This is part of our DNA. It kept us safe when the world was much more dangerous.
When we actually might get KILLED if we strike out on our own.
But the measure of an ENLIGHTENED human, as compared to a instinctive one, is the ability to manage our instincts.
Our instincts that tell us to eat everything in sight, even when we aren’t hungry.
Our instincts that tell us it’s safer to move with the crowd.
Our instincts that tell us it’s not OK to call attention to ourselves.
If you are going to achieve fulfillment, if you are going to become self-actualized, you have to leave those helpful and comforting instincts behind.
One way to do that is to CHOOSE the meanings you give to events.
Instead of relying on your natural instincts to give the meanings, or the “general public” to help you give them meaning, you’ll have to come up with the meaning on your own.
A meaning that best helps YOU to achieve your life goals.
Not just the meanings that happen to you on a daily basis, but the meanings you gave to events that happened YEARS ago.
When you were still a child.
Because it is the MEANING you give to those events, rather than the events themselves, that gives you the emotions you have today.
It is YOUR JOB, your responsibility, to find those events, and RE-DEFINE them.
This isn’t easy, and it is sometimes unpleasant.
But it is necessary to live a self-actualized life.