One of my great weaknesses is trawling Amazon for books. My trawling is quite specific however. I’m on the look out for books that will help me live and be better. My favourite categories are self-help and productivity.
Needless to say, I have gleaned a huge amount of inspiration and insight from reading these kinds of books.
Worthy as this may seem, there is a darker side to this laudable pursuit. I spend a lot of time reading the wisdom of other people about what I should do and how I should do it. Helpful though many of these offerings are, ultimately the only person who has real insight into my life and what works for me – is me, or in your case, you.
One of the joys of midlife is that I’m becoming increasingly comfortable trusting my own wisdom. As The Ripenists’ Manifesto states, “a big part of living our second half is recognising and honouring the wisdom already within.”
In the past, I’ve often relied on others directions, taking them in their entirety and trying to apply them to my life. And that’s a bit like buying a pair of shoes that pinch and persevering with them just because you like the look of them. What I’m learning is that while it’s fine to draw on the wisdom of others, the trick is to try it on for size before I buy. Then I can determine whether to abandon, apply or adjust it to fit me comfortably.
I offer the following self-sized truths in the hope that they will inspire you to capture and live by your own wisdom:
- Do what I can do … and then have faith that all will be well
- Do not allow a metal object (e.g. bathroom scales) or any other technical gadget to have dominion over my mood or view of myself
- Listen and allow my body to tell me what food and movement makes it feel strong and well
- Patience is usually the best default
- Focus on the process not the outcome (and if the process is not getting me to the outcome I want, change the process!)
- Decide who I want to be – then behave my way into being that person. Ask frequently: how would the best version of me behave in this situation?
- It’s okay to take pride (read pleasure) in who I am – this includes how I look, what I have to offer and all the wonderful quirks that make me, me
- Perfection really isn’t required … in pretty much anything!
- Being kind to myself (or learning to do so) is a necessity – nobody else has as much of a vested interest in me as me
Do you have a self-sized truth that has served you well? Please share it below so all Ripenists can try it on for size.