“Above all, it is necessary for a person to have a true self-estimate, for we commonly think we can do more than we really can.” – Seneca, On Tranquility of Mind, 5.2
Two excellent quotes from Goethe from today’s meditation.
As Goethe’s maxim goes, it is a great failing “to see yourself as more than you are.”
Couple that with:
He states that it is equally damaging to “value yourself at less than your true worth.”
So how do we measure self-worth? What is our method of determining the means of assessing our self? Consider how we value the worth of men and women. Strength versus beauty. Tenacity versed reserved behavior. If the assessment is coming from external sources, distracting sources, we may find ourselves never measuring up because the external is always a moving target. How can we appease the institutions or the myriad of people with differing ideas of what worth is?
Seneca is asking us to have a true self-estimate. What do you see when you look inside and are you being honest in that assessment? What events can you pull from past experience that remind you times when you achieved more than you imagined, or when you failed harder than you expected?
The key to all of this is our willingness to perform the assessment. Admitting when we’re wrong is no less valuable than knowing when we’re correct. Being aware of our abilities and limitations will allow us to know what needs to be improved and how we’ve cultivated abilities to succeed.
Philosopher Edmund Burke wrote:
“We must all obey the great law of change. it is the most powerful law of nature.”
Embrace the challenge of being human. Every day is an opportunity to accurately judge ourselves. See how we’ve changed.