One of the most curious things in the structure of our psyche is that we all want to be told … ..because we are the result of the propaganda of ten thousand years. We want to have our thinking confirmed and corroborated by another, whereas to ask a question is to ask it of yourself. What I say has very little value. You will forget it the moment you shut this book, or you will remember and repeat certain phrases, or you will compare what you have read here with some other book- but you will not face your own life. AND that is all that matters- your life, yourself, your pettiness, your shallowness, your brutality, your violence, your greed, your ambition, your daily agony and endless sorrow- that is what you have to understand and nobody on earth or in heaven is going to save you from it but yourself. -J. Krishnamurti
How true. we always keep seeking confirmation from others on our thinking and actions. Walking our own path means choosing our path in a very conscious way. Why are Most of the People Terrified of Walking Their Own Path? When I say walk your own path you need to read it as conviction on one’s ideas and thinking. When their intuition says this is the direction to be taken, but still people prefer to follow the herd.
Our fears stop us in our journey. What fears are we talking about?
Fear of Unknown: We always seek maps, paths, routes traversed by others since it’s an easy way. That’s the only way the fear of the unknown can be overcome.
Fear of rejection from others: As a species, we are programmed to seek approval from others because acceptance equals survival. Hence, we constantly seek approvals from others. This fear of rejection from others rather than the actual rejection stops us. Walking one’s path is hard work. It’s not easy, hence most people avoid it. You can get guidance. you might get maps, sets of rules how other people did it. As Buddha says.
No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.
In the journey you have to be responsible in figuring it out the path. you might stumble, make mistakes and might experience lot of mixed emotions which are not comfortable. This might stop one to be decisive in our effort. Hence people prefer the easy way. Most people are willing to play the poor little victim of life rather take the self-responsibility. Its easier to feel good by blaming others rather working out the problem.
Starting is the key. We keep finding all kind of excuses for not starting. we keep waiting for the perfect moment to start. we seek approval from others to start. why most people avoid walking their own paths is that they don’t know where to start. We see only limitations in the path hence don’t even realise that there is way, to begin with. Our own social conditioning and limited thinking stops us in walking the path. The deep distrust we are conditioned to develop in ourselves paralyzes our ability to act. Hence, we don’t execute the ideas and thoughts which just perishes in the back-corners of our mind.
Start with beginner’s mind: As they say in Zen Buddhism have a “beginner’s mind.” Which refers to an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject or starting something. even at an advanced level one should retain the beginners mind. As the great master zen master Shunryu Suzuki says
“in the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.”
Some key points which would help one to stay focused on keep walking.
Understand and accept that not everyone will agree with you.
In your journey you will meet lot of cynics and naysayers. This could be your family members, friends and society at large. They would not agree with your path. what is important is to Just keep moving forward and remember the reason why they are not agreeing with you. By taking your own path you are invalidating their way of approach.
Question yourself, “What do you to accomplish?”
This is a question one should continuously ask oneself on one’s journey. This question will help us to stay the course. Since we keep bumping into various other paths. There will be paths which others want you to walk. Only by repeatedly questioning you would be in tune with your soul. By striking a balance between a discerning mind and open heart you will be able to make progress.
As the wise master Lao Tzu once wrote, “He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.” Only when you can come to deeply know yourself can you truly embrace who you are and walk your path with confidence.
Be your own best friend
Your journey will be a breeze when you become your own best friend. If not lot of effort would be required to make peace with yourself. Self -compassion can be a great asset in your journey.
Feel the fear, but just keep walking
It’s natural to get scared when you are walking your own path. what is not natural? not moving further due to the paralysis of fear. What is important is assessing one’s fears. Then reconnect with our inner courage and internal compass. Your internal compass knows the path. Stop looking for the path outside. While others may be able to shine a little light on your path, ultimately the greatest guiding light is your own Soul
Be a light unto oneself.
What is your experience in following your own path? I’d love to read your response below.
Contributed by Jayanth Murthy. He is a seeker of things which piques his curiosity with a beginner’s mind.