Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Knowing others; knowing ourselves

There's a new Jet Li movie promo that quotes Taoist Philosopher Lao Tsu as saying:

Knowing others gives you strength
Knowing yourself makes you fearless

I've read this is not an accurate translation, but it is in the spirit of the elder wise man whose writings are revered as much as the legendary Confucius.

Two other translations I've read of Tsu's words online translated by Stephen Addiss and Stanley Lombardo:

Knowing others is intelligent
Knowing yourself is enlightened

Conquering others takes force
Conquering yourself is true strength

Any way you wish to quote whoever writes about knowing anything about anyone, the only person we can *ever* really know is ourselves. The only person we can ever control is .. ourselves. And how we react to what life hands us.

If we learn how to respond in a way that makes us happy with ourselves; gives us a sense of pride in our thoughts and behavior and path in life?

There is a sense of fearlessness when it comes to dealing with others honestly and compassionately; when it comes to taking the best care of ourselves.

I have a system of "breaking down" characters for my writers and actors - wherein I suggest they figure out the spiritual and material sides of each person.

Material people care how things look, not how they really are. Spiritual people care how things really are, not how they look.

Material people care about how others see them, their possessions, their lifestyle, their hair, nails, whatever.

Spiritual people care about how they obtain and maintain the greatest and highest care and use of their bodies - as in healthy, as in strong. They also care about the highest and greatest enjoyment of relationships, possessions and living areas.

Material people want others to do things for and give things to them; spiritual people enjoy giving as well as receiving.

A person with a very lopsided spiritual list has as many problems - though different - as a person whose list is lopsided on the material side. There is a healthy balance.

A more spiritual person is a usually warmer, with a generous spirit.

I am not speaking about money defining materialism nor religion relating to spirituality.

I have a friend whose father is extremely wealthy - who started with *nothing* and worked his way up his business food chain with impeccable integrity, taking great care of his clients and by being genuine. He wanted to help his customers more than take their money and because of that they trusted him with their money. He under promised and over delivered.

He went on to earn considerable sums of money, and today he is considered to be the most sincere, warm, generous, affectionate and loving person - friend and family member. He is .. fearless. And has a balance of spiritual and material values in his life.

On the other hand, there are people who claim to be extremely spiritual (with and without large amounts of money) and yet are cold, rigid, distant and near miserly with their feelings. They attend weekly worship services yet seem afraid to touch people or be touched. They are .. fearful.

And there are people who have almost no material possessions who are the most spiritual, warm, generous, affectionate individuals -- people just love to be around them.

Very material people care too much about what others think or how others might judge them; they don't know or love themselves and are fearful. So they're constantly trying to make up for what they fear they lack. They cut others down to build themselves up. They look down on others because they can't look up to themselves.

To thine own self be true.

But you have to know who you are in order to understand what it means -- and what it takes to be true to yourself.

Follow your passion! That's what FYP Productionz is all about. But if my business partner Brittany Quist and I didn't know who we are, how would we be able to define what our passion is? How would we know what passion to follow?

People actually hire me to help them find their passion - and they are shocked at how simple it can be once they learn how to know themselves. When you know who you are and what makes you tick? You understand what makes you happy.


Not easy, mind you. It takes courage and hard work to find the real you because of all the messages you've received from every institution that has raised you - family, religion, education, peer groups, media, government, culture. Unfortunately most of them pressure you to fit in rather than think independently or find your purpose - passion - in life.

Sadly, I'd say most people never achieve the genuine awareness of who they are and their purpose in life. I see so many people walk looking straight ahead; who only see their purpose as going from one place to the next, rather than looking around at the world that is passing them by as they make their way to their next destination.

The journey is the destination.

I feel badly for them. They're missing out on the wonder of life and happiness that is literally theirs for the taking if they ever decide to have it and take the action necessary to create it.


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