Having the Courage of Your Conviction

Written by: Emmanuel

By liking what we do and living our meaning, we're in harmony with everyone and everything. Emmanuel van der Meulen. CEO, Peace Evolution.

Published: August 3, 2020

womans eye with caption | having the courage | Peace Evolution​This is the turning point. Without conviction, nothing will change. Without courage, nothing will change. This is where it starts.

Every now and then, some times more regularly than other times, we’ll find ourselves at crossroads. At these points—because life-changing decisions are difficult and our Factor-x doesn’t let up easily—Factor-x will definitely create doubts about the direction we want to be moving into with our lives.

When at these crossroads, we’re certainly going to doubt ourselves, and we’ll conjure up many things that might happen to us because of the path we’re on. Our conviction will again come under scrutiny. We might even suspect that we’re only imagining things about the new direction we’re taking with our lives. We’ll certainly feel there might be something wrong with us, since our Factor-x will raise doubts and our preferences and journey are so very different from mainstream society.

These crossroads create upheaval in our lives. To get beyond them requires decisions, in many cases life-altering ones. They never stop; they are continuously part of our lives. These decisions lead us down paths where we’re on our own, and sometimes, we get lonely. Again I’ll remind you that our journeys aren’t for the fainthearted, and it’s no coincidence that when at a crossroads, it’s sometimes difficult to make decisions. And the further we walk on our path, the greater the likelihood that we isolate ourselves further.

This is no wonder. You and I might be one of few people walking this path: the path of our meaning. Almost everyone else is being dictated to and driven by their Factor-x. So we’re mostly on our own.

If you don’t see the dynamics of walking your journey as a free individual or free spirit, manifesting your meaning as opposed to doing things to find meaning . . . well, it’s very daunting—to the point where you might give up and revert back to being dictated to and driven by your Factor-x. As we’ve seen very clearly, Factor-x is merely a figment of our imagination. But this doesn’t mean that Factor-x isn’t there all the time, and that we aren’t continuously on the quest to disprove the existence and power of our Factor-x. No, our Factor-x is indeed there all the time, and very powerful. Just look at the state humankind is in—individuals being driven by their Factor-x likely created this state.

It takes courage to get beyond these crossroads. Encountering a crossroad isn’t a test for you, but moving past one can test your conviction and courage. In fact, it gets more and more difficult, until you’re at the biggest crossroads with your life. Once you move beyond that, however, it’s likely to get easier.

These crossroads envelop us and intimidate us to the point where it feels life-threatening. We deserve a medal for getting beyond them. And you do get something, something even more rewarding than medals, something more profound than anything else: You free yourself more and more from your Factor-x. That liberation is reward enough. You can’t expect a bigger reward than manifesting your freedom away from your own Factor-x, and from the standards and norms society creates for us all—standards and norms likely created from the Factor-x of their creators. You’re in fact liberating yourself from society’s and our collective Factor-x. And that’s a “Wow!” if nothing else.

No wonder, then, that it takes so much courage, in fact all the courage we can muster together, to get beyond each crossroads. And they keep on coming, as if to test us. Of course they aren’t really testing you, even though the big ones remain daunting. They are merely there, continuously a part of your life. The more you liberate yourself from your Factor-x, the easier and less frequent these crossroads become to navigate.

Acknowledging that the life you’ve created for yourself isn’t what you want is merely the starting point. After that, the headwinds and crossroads are continuously there until each reaches its crescendo. Only once you get beyond the little ones and grow your confidence, and then get beyond bigger ones and grow more confidence, then eventually go beyond the biggest one, does it get any easier.

Thus, until our lives get to a point where the confidence of being on our own journey as guided by our meaning gets bigger than our Factor-x, so to speak, it’s one struggle after another. Some are smaller struggles, some are huge struggles, some look insurmountable, some leave us high and dry on the other side and seemingly where we can’t see the road forward. There is also almost certainly no one who can assist us in this journey. After all, you and I, most likely, are in a minute minority. So our journey is most likely alone, without company, and even lonely from time to time. Yet all this time, without a doubt, we will never be without meaning. Possibly without everything else, but never without meaning.

Sometimes you might lack courage, a vital ingredient for this self-chosen journey. Without it, you can’t get beyond any crossroad. When your courage wanes, all you’ll have at your disposal is to recognize that your meaning isn’t lacking: that your meaning is right there and has been there all along without fail. Seeing that your meaning was there all along is likely to inspire courage when the journey gets tough, or even seemingly too tough.

While on your journey as guided by your meaning, if you don’t see your meaning, then it’s likely you aren’t on your own journey. You might instead be on a journey dictated to or driven by your Factor-x. If this is indeed the case, you will need to go back and see where you lost the path of your journey. This requires even further courage of your convictions. Without it, you won’t be able to make the journey or go back to locate where you lost your path.

Walking our path, and staying on our path, knowing that we’re indeed on our path takes continuous courage. Our journey requires us to continuously look and re-look at our conviction about our lives—looking at why we’re doing what we’re doing. Furthermore, when we’re struggling, the best we can do is to stop and look at whether we’re indeed looking for meaning, or living our meaning.

With the courage of your convictions and being absolutely brutally honest with yourself, and by acknowledging the influence Factor-x has on your life, you’re putting yourself in the best possible position to get beyond any crossroads and face anything your Factor-x conjures up, thereby enabling you to walk your journey freely as guided by your meaning.

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