Thinking out loud ~1

So I’ll take a different kind of approach here. Not any sort of book review, rather just a post where I’ll blab out some thoughts. “Writing is closer to thinking than speaking”. That’s a quote ingrained on one of my journals. Quite true I’d say, things are much clearer when you get to write it out.

If you think about it, every time you write something, you’re just narrating a story of some sort. When I read back over previous journal entries, it made me realize how much of a time-machine it is. The story is always remembered in some vivid way.

Speaking of memory, whenever we think of past experiences, the version of the story slightly alters. That’s purely because, the less you think about a certain experience or event, the less likely it is to stay in your mind. Kind of like an old trail, if it isn’t used enough, it’ll get covered up. Just realizing how easy it is for us to re-wire our own neurons. However, certain experiences do trigger a longer-lasting memory, especially if they’re unpleasant. We could go on for quite a while about this, but let’s move on.

Getting back to narrating a story. I recently joined something called the Student Leadership Program at UCT, which is essentially a weekly course on becoming a better leader in your community. The first session I attended was about thinking through your own story (and leadership). A few of my peers from the program went up to speak about their story, which I found incredibly inspiring and motivational.

We all have a story, whatever that means to us. What I realized while I was trying to articulate my own story and listening to others, was how important it is to have some sort of self-awareness.

Being self-aware enables us to see the patterns within our self, that may or may not be serving us. Identifying with our own journey is something vital, because we need to have some sort of driving force. If we don’t know where we’re going, we’re never going to reach the destination.

I believe that if we can start asking ourselves the right questions, it’ll automatically allow us to reflect on what matters most to us. Let me just jot down a few:

  • Who am I?
  • What are my key values?
  • What is my purpose?
  • Where am I going in this current direction?
  • What am I trying to achieve?
  • What do I believe in?
  • What is the impact I want to have on the world?
  • How can I be of service to others?
  • How do I want to be remembered?
  • Why do I care about certain people?
  • Am I surrounding myself with people who encourage and motivate me?
  • What is the greatest ideal of myself that I can be today?
  • Why am I here?
  • How can I learn from this?
  • How can I do this better?

Some of these questions might be a little foreign or even ‘too deep’, but they’re critical to having an idea of our own story. When we spend time thinking about these things, we’ll start getting answers we didn’t even realize we needed. This will be probably be through the change of habits and behaviours; unconsciously.

These are also questions that aren’t static, they’re dynamic and continuously evolving. We’ll never have the same answer to those questions everyday, because our story changes each and everyday.

The more experiences we have, the more we’re exposed to, the more interactions we engage in, the more we’ll inevitably change. Don’t forget that we’re just a bunch of neurons firing different pathways. Those pathways are re-constructed with every single thought!

“Reasons reap benefits.”

I didn’t intend on making this a long post, just wanted it to be something quick and meaningful. I hope I’ve managed to offer you a different perspective.

Ask yourself the right questions, and the answers will become clearer and clearer. When we have a better sense of where we’re going, we’ll find more effective ways to get there. So think about your story more often, and allow yourself to be. We’re all here momentarily, so let’s make it legendary.

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