The journey of self-discovery is a journey of enlightenment. Aristotle said, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” If this is true, then we can truly change the world beginning first, with the journey of self-discovery.
I love to travel. There is nothing like the thrill of a new adventure to get my mind thinking of all the limitless possibilities of what a new day in that adventure can bring. Sometimes the excitement is so overwhelming that my heart feels like it’s going to burst.
Remember Disneyland as a child? It was magical. What if every day could hold this same kind of joy and magic? What if we anticipated the coming of every day as if it was a gift from a loving God who was looking down on us, wanting nothing more than for us to know who we are and to find joy in our lives. That ultimate journey of peace and joy begins right now, today. It is the journey of soul searching and self-discovery. Here is how it begins.
Even if you don’t believe in God, or don’t know if He’s there, begin this journey by asking Him. I promise you if you ask God if He is there, and you really want to know the answer, He will answer you and you will receive one of the greatest witnesses of God’s love for you. You will learn that you are not alone in this world and you will have a fundamental belief that will change the rest of your life.
Set aside a time every day to read out of your religious texts. If you don’t have a religion, there are a number of spiritual texts you can read from, such as the Tao Te Ching, which is a beautiful source of inspiration. Even if you do have a religion, try to read the spiritual text of others. It is enlightening and you will find that God speaks to all His children regardless of their religion. Read out of every good book you can find. There are so many good books out there that can teach us more about ourselves and our place in humanity. One of my favorite books is Les Miserables. As we read about Jean Valjean and his own journey to self-discovery, we learn that every saint can become a sinner and every sinner can be a saint. Valjean spent years in prison denying he was a thief only to become one upon his release, but because of the mercy of one man who showed him forgiveness, Valjean became a good, honest and loving man and spent the rest of his life in the service of another. We can learn a great deal about ourselves from the soul searching journeys of others.
Take time to think about life, about the things you see, the things you hear and the things you read. Take time to notice the intricacies in nature and the wonders of the universe. Ask yourself questions that you don’t really know the answer to, and then ponder upon what the answers might be. Ask the ultimate questions, “Who am I?” “Why am I here?” “Where did I come from?” “Where am I going?” then don’t be afraid to think upon the questions and go where the answers take you. It is in the quiet moments that your journey will be most rewarded.
Make sure to keep a journal of discovery. This is the place where you ask your questions and write down the answers you receive through careful thought and contemplation. It is amazing the thoughts that will come in the early morning when all is tranquil and quiet, or in the stillness of the night when all the world is sleeping around you. Keep your journal close so you can record those thoughts and impressions when they come. Look back at your journal often so you can see how you have progressed through your journey and how you have grown and changed in the process.
The journey of self-discovery is a journey of enlightenment. It is a journey taken by some of the greatest men and women of our time, both past and present, whose ideas have fostered lasting change on our world today.