The floor drops out from underneath you, your heart is up in your throat, and you’re grabbing onto anything that you can reach as you endure that feeling of freefall. It’s exciting on roller coasters; however, it is not what you want to feel as you’re living your day-to-day life.
That feeling of having little control and reaching for anything that won’t give way is a feeling that is familiar to those not grounded. Whether they are going through a tough time or are “trying to find themselves” these people are lost, freefalling, and trying to right their ship.
Conversely, think of an old tree. It’s been around for the last 100 years. In that time it has weathered many storms, rains, high winds, lightning, but it still stands. It’s roots are still holding strong to the ground beneath it. It’s grabbed a hold of the earth and is sturdy. This is what having a strong Philosophy provides for people; they feel like this tree – sturdy, immoveable, ready to weather any storms.
As the world continues on the noise increases. News outlets, social media, reality television – all competing for their piece of your attention. The rate at which new media is created increases by the day. Along with all that noise there are conflicting opinions, persuasion, and “recruiting”. It’s easy enough to get lost today and I expect it to get worse as time continues on.
It is important that each person equips themselves with their own Values and Philosophy so that they have the context and tools needed to navigate through all of the noise.
A Strong Philosophy is a Strong Foundation
A strong system of Values and beliefs is your ground. They are things that you can grab onto as the windstorm picks up. When you are confronted with different opinions and information your Philosophy will provide the context needed to analyze and evaluate the information laid out in front of you.
A strong Philosophy is the foundation upon which one can build a life. The elevation to which one can build is limited by what their foundation can support. If you try to build too tall, too fast, before laying the proper foundation, there will eventually come a point where you will reach the capacity of the foundation below or you risk it, making the daily gamble that the wind does not blow hard enough to blow over what you have built.
I’m sure you are able to think of stories of the person that had such promise but stalled or someone that continued beyond their limits too quickly and paid for it somewhere down the line.
Your Philosophy Grounds You
People turn to any number of things to find stability. Some choose advice from friends, some choose the news, Facebook groups, religion – my point is that when people feel lost or that they don’t have answers to the questions they face, they begin to look for answers. Whether they are confused, scared, or they don’t know how to feel, people are on the lookout for answers to their problems. They are trying to resolve the instability of an unknown with the stability of an answer.
Friends, news, and/or religion, all provide these answers and stability in their own way. People will search until they find an answer that seems reasonable enough to answer their question and they are content.
A strong Philosophy allows people to answer these questions for themselves. Philosophy itself is the stability that people are looking for. The answers found in one’s Philosophy are consistent with the makeup of the individual trying to resolve their questions.
Find Your Own Answers Before You Need Them
The idea behind the Initiated Philosophy is that each individual builds their Philosophy for themselves. It is a process of deep reflection, tough questions, and fearless discovery. Through this process you will define what is important to you and what is not. You will explore the dusty corners of yourself to find what things about your belief system are underdeveloped or inconsistent with your goals. From there, you will develop your guiding Principles.
It is through that process that you will find the answers you need before you need them. Better yet, you will understand yourself better than you ever have before.
- What makes you tick?
- What motivates you?
- What makes you uneasy?
- What can you do to change it?
- Where do you need to grow?
- What are your strengths?
- How can you best use those strengths?
- How can you best use those strengths to support your weaknesses?
And so on.
You should begin to see now that in going this deep in self discovery you discover the voids in your existing ideas about who you are and what you’re about and begin a process of filling those gaps.
Earlier I mentioned the idea of a Philosophy providing context and this is another cool thing about developing a strong Philosophy for yourself rather than adopting ideas from other sources.
We just discussed the depth at which you need to go to effectively discover all of the voids in your belief system and how from there you can begin to close those gaps and strengthen the Integrity of your Philosophy by ditching what isn’t serving you and keeping what is.
This is the best way to develop an intimate relationship with your thoughts and beliefs. Like a motorcycle that you have built from the ground up – you know its quirks, its weak points, and you’re the only person that knows your specific bike inside and out. Your Philosophy is similar – you’re the person with the most familiarity of the inner workings of it, you will know why each Value is there and how they all interact with each other.
As much as I talk about your Philosophy being strong and strengthening Integrity and finding the answers before you need them, understand that this is not to say that you are going to have EVERYTHING sorted out at the onset of this new life you’re about to lead.
The world around you will change, you will hit unexpected bumps in the road, you are going to grow and your priorities and Values will shift – this is all part of the journey.
The power of the context you gain is in how your Philosophy helps you handle these challenges. By doing this deep dive and understanding how you operate, you have a baseline to start from. When you encounter something that conflicts with your beliefs you are not rocked off of your foundation because your foundation is the strongest you could have made it to that point. You have a strong footing to be able to absorb the initial blow, take a look at it from all sides, and have the strength to move forward how you best see fit.
Rather than that feeling of freefall where you’re grabbing for anything that you can reach, you are grounded to your Philosophy and a strong set of Values that you can use to navigate through situations. You don’t need to stress your grip strength because you are not reaching for anything to begin with – you’re already planted atop an immovable ground.
Think of context like this – say you learned Spanish in Spain and took a vacation to Mexico. You will be able to communicate well enough but there will be local differences in the Mexican language that you will need to work around. You will adopt useful words and phrases in Mexico that will allow you to navigate better; you will have modified your understanding of the language a little bit, but it is because you were fluent in Spanish to begin with that you are able to make these changes to your understanding of the language.
Hopefully you draw the parallel between Philosophical context and the linguistic context allowing the incorporation of useful phrases into the original understanding of Spanish. It is because of the understanding of the Spanish language that you are able to understand the new dialect and adapt; whereas if you did not understand Spanish at all, you would be lost.
Your Philosophy is what you know and will provide context as you encounter different opinions. Because you have that understanding of your Philosophy, you are able to adapt as YOU see fit. You also have a strong foundation to stand upon if you decide you want to push back against different beliefs.
This is the context that a strong Philosophy provides. It informs your gut-check decisions and helps you to conceptualize “good” and “bad” relative to yourself. Then it is there to provide the same reference point if you decide that what you’re looking at is worthy of further investigation.
Built Not Bought
I want to drive home the importance and advantage of building a Philosophy rather than adopting one.
First, there is rarely a scenario where someone else’s Philosophy will check all of your boxes. You may agree with most of what another person believes but there is rarely a scenario where everything that another person says entirely resonates with you. There will be gaps in that Philosophy that you must fill.
Second, you will not have the same level of understanding when adopting another belief system than if you develop your own. You can study another ideology for a long time before you gain the confidence to say that you understand enough. Until that time, you will not be on firm, solid ground – your foundation will be soft and able to give as you cannot firmly plant your feet on all of the ideas within this belief system you have adopted – this is the topic of next week’s Transmission, by the way. Make sure to check that out.
Further to this point – all that time you spent trying to understand someone else’s Philosophy could have been spent refining and applying your own. You could have already started your journey but instead decided that there was something more to learn by studying someone else’s system.
So – I have presented two things. The first says that, even if you were to adopt the ideas of another person or group, you will need to do some level of self-reflection to fill in the gaps when you encounter those parts that don’t resonate with you. The second point is that you will need to put in the time to study the ideas of this ideology to make sure you understand all of the links and application of the ideas you hold, leaving you on a soft foundation in the mean-time.
So, now I ask this – what are you really gaining by adopting a belief system rather than developing your own?
From where I’m sitting, not much.
You will develop a Philosophy quicker than you will learn one and you will be more grounded to the Philosophy that you build for yourself than the one that you adopt.
Rely on yourself, build it yourself, and get exactly what you want.
Yours in strength,