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The first edition of the essay bore three epigraphs: a Latin line, meaning "Do not seek outside yourself"; a six-line stanza from Beaumont and Fletcher's Honest Man's Fortune; and a four-line stanza that Emerson himself wrote.Emerson dropped his stanza from the revised edition of the essay, but modern editors have since restored it.
And when we become adults we should become self-reliant individuals, but funnily enough, we become even more dependent on others. We feel that we always have to agree with everything and everyone. Instead of being timid, stand up right and say what you think without reservation. If you want to have a voice in the world, you can’t expect that will happen smoothly. When we have a conflict, we often say to ourselves, “I don’t care.” And we walk away. I look up to many people, but I don’t consider them as saints. Instead, learn how to become a master of your feelings and emotions.
When we look at ourselves, we never even consider that we might not need those things. I’ve drawn these lessons from Stoicism, Transcendentalism, and Pragmatism. How often do you think or feel something and you’re afraid of speaking it? Also, you don’t have to agree with everything your idols or examples say. In other words: Speaking out your emotions is not always useful.
But I also believe that—in the deepest sense—we must trust our instincts and have the courage to put our ideas out into the world.
Whenever I need a reminder about how to do this, I turn to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s 1841 essay on self reliance.“Self-Reliance,” considered Emerson’s most influential piece, works its magic much like an inspiring song that can get you through the last stretch of a grueling run.
Remember this: Your problems will always travel with you. Every setback is an opportunity to test your self-reliance. Without it, you will never become a complete and reliable person. Always keep this in the back of your mind: I owe nothing, and nothing is owed to me.
You don’t need to travel to the other side of the world to find yourself. When something bad happens to my health, relationships, or finances, I’m thankful. If you believe that you will live forever or that you will be loved until the end of time—you get lazy. But once you separate yourself from everything in life, you become a passenger who tries to make the most out of every single minute. You will never be able to explain everything with 100% certainty and proof. ” You are where you are in life because of a few random things, plus the decisions you made personally. If you’re unhappy or if you want to change, just change your standards. If you’re not into reading, try learning a language, go to meetups, join a running club. If one thing falls through, don’t worry, do something else with your precious time (just don’t waste it). But when you stop looking for it outside of yourself, you will find that you can truly rely on yourself — and that will help you to love others. Always have a list of things you can do with your time.“They come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.” In every book or painting or film that moves us, we respond because they speak to a truth we recognize—if only subconsciously. Yet he understood the importance of holding convictions about your personal potential.“To believe your own thought, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all … “Speak your latent conviction, and it shall be the universal sense; for the inmost in due time becomes the outmost.”Still, it can be hard to feel sure of ourselves—particularly as our personal failures accumulate. I bookmarked the digital version of the essay on my computers at work and at home. As I did, I became ever more certain that however ridiculous and daunting my goal might seem, the first step to accomplishing it was believing that it was worthwhile.But remember, at the time he wrote his essay, he wasn’t yet considered a master of American literature. And yet we must be brave enough to follow through on our ideas. Emboldened by Emerson, I dared to “abide by [my] spontaneous impression with good-humored inflexibility.”The themes of the novella—the blurring line between fact and fiction, how to process fake information on a web without context, and whether technology should be driving decisions—are now the stuff of daily headlines.Published first in 1841 in Essays and then in the 1847 revised edition of Essays, "Self-Reliance" took shape over a long period of time.Throughout his life, Emerson kept detailed journals of his thoughts and actions, and he returned to them as a source for many of his essays. Most people hide from difficulty and internal turmoil. To truly appreciate something, you have to realize that you will lose it one day. Life is a series of unrelated events and decisions. We say things like, “everything happens for a reason.”But understand: Life just happens. It’s easy as changing your existing thoughts when they are not useful to you. Whatever you do, get comfortable in your own skin, it’s the only one you will ever have. And that brings us back to Emerson again, he said: And that’s life. His central point is that we should not ignore those inner whispers, which may be barely audible under the din of outside influences and self-doubt. After all, the world’s greatest thinkers and leaders had the courage to hear themselves and to follow their convictions, without concerning themselves overly about tradition and what others might think. I printed out the essay and annotated it, carried it around with me, stained it with wine, and wore it out.They taught themselves to ignore the din and doubt, and their ideas resonated with the world because they reflected a truth that others had sensed privately as well.“In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts,” Emerson writes. Then I printed another copy and went back to underlining.