Becoming Self

Sea of Thieves is an open-world pirate game where players are encouraged to explore islands and plunder treasures. Players can team up with friends or play solo, but if they make a mistake it’s not the end of the world: in Sea of Thieves, dying means you get a chance to start over with more experience and everything you found still intact.

Becoming self-reliant emotionally means that you are confident and secure in your own emotions. You are not afraid to show them, which is what others will respect most about you. Read more in detail here: how to be self-reliant emotionally.

Kyle Eschenroeder, author of The Pocket Guide to Self-Reliance, contributed this guest post.

“The author is a traveler. Every stride is a move forward into a new territory.” Ralph Waldo Emerson (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

In our interconnected, civilized world, the objective of self-reliance is to obtain sovereignty. It’s to remember that your opinions are legitimate – even if they’re controversial. It’s recognizing that you don’t have to choose a team, and that the colors others attempt to slap on you may not really reflect who you are.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to self-sufficiency. There isn’t a step-by-step method for doing it. However, there are several techniques that may help us get there. Journaling has proven to be a very useful method for myself and many others.

Below are 31 journaling prompts to help you get closer to self-sufficiency. They’ll assist you in considering and articulating aspects of yourself that you may not have examined before – at least not openly. They’ll assist you in recognizing your views and identifying places where you’re unsure. They’ll assist you in considering the circumstances you’re in and the choices you’re making, as well as what you should do about them. They’ll mostly simply point you in the proper path.

The goal is to assist you in delving deeper within yourself in order to better reset your connections with yourself, the world, and the people with whom you spend time.

I suggest devoting at least twenty minutes to each prompt. These are likely to act as jumping-off points, and you’ll likely conclude your writing session with an entirely new subject after following your thoughts on an open-ended — and self-reliant — path.

You may start working on these prompts whenever you want, and you can complete as many as you like each day (but I don’t advocate doing more than two per day to ensure you give each one enough space and time to reflect). However, the large number of prompts — 31 — makes them ideal for completing one a day over the course of a month. Commit to making the next 31 days the month in which you finally begin to live a life where you make choices based on your own personal experience of the world. When you eventually start paying less heed to other people’s views and start being genuine to yourself. When you finally begin to believe in yourself.

Day 1

“The major source of instability in ourselves is our search for the reality offered by someone else.” Krishnamurti, Jiddu

What do you have or are seeking that others think is useful but that you don’t find valuable? Do you persist in your pursuit depending on the assurances of others?

Day 2

“Conformity is the virtue of most requests.” ―Emerson

“It’s been said that we’re all looking for a sense of purpose in life. I don’t believe that’s what we’re looking for. What we’re looking for, I believe, is a sense of being alive, so that our simply physical daily experiences resonate with our own deepest being and reality, and we may genuinely feel the joy of being alive.” Joseph Campbell (Joseph Campbell)


Where in life do you find the greatest purpose and feel the most alive? Is there anything you’d want to do but don’t because the rest of the world thinks it’s dumb, pointless, or incorrect? Is there anything you do that you think noble but that the rest of the world dismisses? How do you deal with the stress?

Day 3

“I’d scribble on the doorpost lintels, Whim.” I hope it’s better than whim in the end, but we can’t spend the whole day explaining it.” ―Emerson

We’ll rapidly find ourselves dependent on others for solutions if we don’t trust our whims to drive our exploration of life’s possibilities.

What parts of your life have you turned off to the whims of others? Are there any that you’ve ruled out? How may you go about following them in a responsible manner? (Is it drafting a ridiculous-sounding blog post outline?) Considering picking up that “non-productive” book? Getting a membership at the boxing facility you pass every day? You’re going to ask that lady you’ve had your eye on out? (Is it time to book that vacation you’ve been planning?)

Day 4

“The disadvantage to adhering to customs that have passed you by is that it disperses your energy.” ―Emerson

What parts of your former self-identity do you cling to that aren’t benefiting you anymore or that you don’t believe in wholeheartedly? Is it worth it to let them go?

Day 5

Competing entails choosing to play someone else’s game. This may be a huge energy source, but it’s also a risky game. Peter Thiel, the millionaire investor and creator of PayPal, stated that tough competition in college almost prevented him from achieving what he was supposed to do. “All unsuccessful firms are the same: they failed to escape competition,” he wrote later in Zero to One.

When we’re in a competitive environment, we’re prone to obsessing about achieving the same thing but better, larger, or cheaper. Competition might make us miss out on chances to stand out.

In fact, the more competitive the situation becomes, the more similar things get. “The dynamic [of competition] is not unlike a popularity contest in which everyone strives to win by being equal parts nice, joyful, energetic, and fun,” argues Harvard Professor Youngme Moon in her book Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd. Alternatively, imagine an election campaign in which every candidate tries to be charming, serious, modest, and strong. No one stands out until everyone begins doing it.”

Simply put, “the more rigorously organizations compete with each other, the less unique they may become,” according to Moon.

Individual lives are damaged more often than enterprises by being too obsessed with competition to glance around. Where in your life are you fighting for things you don’t desire (money, audience, status, possessions, looks, honors, travel, experiences, etc.)? What would you concentrate on if you weren’t bothered about winning?

Day 6

“These are the sounds we hear in isolation, but once we join the world, they become faint and inaudible.” ―Emerson


Self-reliance frequently entails paying greater attention to our inner voice. It entails paying greater attention to what is generally hidden under our awareness, rather than merely what we say or even think. Picasso was well aware that the message he sought to convey was not his own:

“The only way to know what you’re going to draw is to start sketching.” That’s always what comes to mind when I’m staring at a blank page. I’m more interested in what I catch in spite of myself than in my own thoughts.”

Picasso didn’t want to communicate his own thoughts; he wanted to express things that appeared to be beyond him. He realized that self-reliance didn’t mean having complete control or knowing the solution ahead of time, but rather taking risks and trusting himself to manage them.

Write about a moment when you listened to your inner voice and a time when you didn’t. What did you think of each one? What was the difference between the dialogues you had with your inner voice? How can you improve your sensitivity to such small nudges?

Day 7

Finally, we achieve self-sufficiency by forgetting about ourselves. It’s the type of self-assurance that many new parents experience because they’ve finally found something bigger than themselves. We may get access to it by taking adequate care of anything (a project, a movement, an idea, a person, etc.).

This dynamic is described by Milton Mayeroff in his book On Caring:

“Being ‘other directed,’ which refers to the sort of conformity in which I lose touch with both myself and the other,’ should not be confused with being ‘other directed,’ which refers to the kind of conformity in which I lose touch with both myself and the other.” Rather, I am more sensitive to myself by following the evolution of the other, just as the musician is more in touch with himself when engrossed in the requirements of the music.”

Ironically, no matter how physically self-sufficient we become, we will never be self-sufficient if we never genuinely care for someone other than ourselves.

What is the most important thing to you? As in, what do you freely devote yourself to? How could you look after it a bit better? How can looking after anything outside of yourself help you have greater confidence in yourself?

Day 8

“We put significantly less effort into making ourselves happy than we do into seeming to be happy.” La Rochefoucauld was a French physician who lived in the 16th century.

“These are the sounds we hear in isolation, but once we join the world, they become faint and inaudible.” ―Emerson

Many times, we desire what we want just because other people want it as well!

Take some time today to consider what you really desire. What you want to want, not what you want.

Some examples of transitions include: desiring attention to wanting to assist; desiring an easy life to desiring the effort; and desiring fame to desiring connections.

Although not all of these sets are mutually exclusive, one is generally at the expense of the other. What would your wishes be if you had the option?

“It is simple in the world to follow the public’s view; it is easy in solitude to follow our own; but the great man is he who, in the midst of the mob, maintains the independence of solitude with perfect sweetness.” ―Emerson


Day 9

Our attitude toward the information we consume is really important.

How do you go about reading nonfiction (both offline and online)? What is your approach to various writers or personalities? Are the articles and books you read having a dialogue with you? Are you keeping track of your conflicts with them? Are you able to connect the dots between them?

Day 10

Self-reliance does not need making all of your beliefs public. If you were to publicly discuss every divisive viewpoint you have, you’d feel compelled to defend those viewpoints as well. That might become a full-time job for some.

What are your most divisive viewpoints? Why do you think they’re telling the truth? Even if they’re not worth discussing in public, they’re worth investigating for oneself.

Day 11

“I don’t want to be forgiven; I just want to live.” My life isn’t a show for the sake of the sake of the sake of the sake of the sake of the sake of the ―Emerson

Is your life a performance for the sake of others? Do you use social media to connect with people or to put on a show?

How would you live differently if it weren’t about the show and more about making the greatest life possible for yourself, your loved ones, and the other people with whom you share this planet?

Day 12

“The major issue concerning people’s behavior is whether they have an Inner or an Outer Scorecard.” If you can be content with an Inner Scorecard, that helps.” Warren Buffett (Warren Buffett, Warren Buffett, Warren Buffett, Warren Buffet

An inner scorecard is something we may make for ourselves and use to determine how well we’re doing. The world builds an exterior scorecard for us and then uses it to assess us. Accepting an external scoreboard robs us of our independence.

Buffett has frequently gone against the grain in investing, losing money while others are making money and missing out on major trends, and he has credited his inner scorecard with keeping him on track when he may otherwise have given up.

Make a rough draft of your internal scorecard today. Make a list of things that will tell you whether you’re on the correct track, even if the world’s exterior scorecard can’t notice your victories.

Day 13

“Ignorance is envy.” —Emerson

Envy of someone else’s riches stems from a lack of understanding of the relationships, life experiences, and health that may have been sacrificed in order to get it. Envy of someone’s power is blindness to the painful feeling of inadequacy that drove them to acquire it.

We know we shouldn’t use Social Media Highlight Reels to judge a person’s life, even yet we use it all the time. A flurry of amorous trip photos often presage a divorce. Few people use Facebook to discuss their debilitating mental conditions. On the internet, one does not provide updates on family strife.

Make a list of the persons that you admire.

Would you be willing to swap places with them? Would you be willing to give up your whole life for them? Would you swap marriages, health, history, mental health, and other aspects of your life with them? What are the drawbacks of their current living situation? What kinds of sacrifices may you have to make in order to acquire a piece of their life?


Day 14

Self-sufficiency isn’t enough. It is a crucial skill to ask for assistance from friends, family, or experts.

“The goal of the psychiatrist is to dissolve [the] dragon, to split him apart, so that you may spread to a greater field of interactions,” Joseph Campbell remarked.

It’s not about giving up or relying on others for support. It’s about being self-aware enough to recognize when you need help or may benefit from a second view.

How might you make greater use of the people around you? Where and how is your ego preventing you from seeking help?

Day 15

Make a list of a few major life events that have brought you pain in the past. Was there any progress — or perhaps any good — as a result of them? What kind of development are we talking about? What’s the point?

More difficult: can you do this in the present conditions that are bringing you pain?

This is a first step toward Nietzsche’s amor fati – fate’s love. This isn’t a minor point:

“My formula for human greatness is amor fati: the desire to have nothing different, not in the present, not in the past, not in the future, not in eternity.” Not only to tolerate the unavoidable, much less to hide it… but to enjoy it.”

Day 16

Friedrich Nietzsche presents the concept of “Eternal Return” in The Gay Science:

“What if a demon followed you into your loneliest loneliness one day or night and said to you: ‘This life, as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live it once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy, every thought and sigh, and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence — even this spider and this moon The everlasting hourglass of life, and you, speck of dust, are spun upside down over and again!”

In essence, Nietzsche invites the reader to envision living this life, just as it is now, for the rest of eternity. Nothing would be different. You wouldn’t be able to make alternative choices or adopt other mindsets. You wouldn’t even realize you were reliving your life.

What adjustments in your attitudes and behaviors would you make to your life right now if you knew you’d be subjected to an eternal cycle of Eternal Return? Why haven’t you altered the things in your life that you wouldn’t want to repeat for the rest of your life? Remember, the objective is to cherish this life in its entirety, not merely to survive it. To amor fati, to amor fati, to amor fati, to

(Read the complete essay on the topic if you want to learn more about this thinking experiment.)

Day 17

“More than the brilliance of the firmament of bards and sages, a man should learn to discern and observe that glint of light that flashes across his mind from inside.” Nonetheless, he rejects his own thinking without seeing it since it is his. We recognize our own rejected notions in every work of genius: they return to us with a detached grandeur.” —Emerson


Recall a moment or two when you had an idea for something, put it aside, and subsequently saw it used by someone else. Are you pleased you didn’t go after it? If not, what can you do differently next time an idea catches your attention? Try to be precise; a broad statement like “I’ll take the chance!” will almost certainly land you in the same spot. So, what’s the game plan?

Day 18

After hearing Emerson disparage the usefulness of books, Charles Woodbury, a young college student, was greatly disappointed in the mentor he had almost idolized. Woodbury replied he couldn’t agree with the philosopher’s position, nervously, with “quivering lips.”

Emerson said with a winking glance, “Very good.” “I have no desire for disciples.”

“This was a long stride toward masculinity,” Woodbury later reflected.

It might be perilous to become a “disciple” of another individual if you desire to think independently. (You may or may not know them personally.) Is there somebody with whom you automatically agree? Spend some time getting to know them. Make a list of their controversies and blunders. Make a list of things you think they’re incorrect about. What impact does this have on the way you read, listen to, or talk to them? Is it loosening their grip on your thoughts? Are you able to think about things more critically?

Day 19

Make a list of the areas in which you’re putting off your life. Things you’ve been putting off. How can you avoid or drastically shorten the wait time?

So, what are you waiting for? Is it true that you’re worried?

If that’s the case, how can you be sure you’ll never have to “wait”? What type of proactive planning can you do right now to ensure that you’ll be ready when the time comes?

Day 20

Make a list of the five activities that give you the greatest energy. What are some ways you can spend more time with them?

Make a list of the five things that exhaust you the most. Is there any way you can spend less time with them?

Day 21

“God will not have cowards display his work.” —Emerson

Ennui is often the result of holding back, of half-heartedly committing to something we should be totally dedicated to. If you went all the way, where would you be able to break through? Where are you hesitating? What is it that makes you feel stuck?

How can you possibly offer all you have to it? Is there a need for extra time? More ferocity? More attention?

Day 22

“Taking complete responsibility for your life is enlightenment.” —Blake, William

“You are not responsible for this, yet it is your issue.” Cheryl Strayed is a writer and activist.

We are in charge of our own life. It’s still our issue, even if it’s something we had nothing to do with. Even if we weren’t the ones who started it, it’s still our obligation to find out how to cope with it. What aspects of your life do you hold others responsible for? Or is it society? What about the economy? Your ancestors? How can you accept responsibility for the predicament you’ve found yourself in?

Day 23

“Imitation is a kind of suicide.” —Emerson

What examples have you used to model your life after? Have you been disoriented throughout the process?

Day 24

“A guy must reflect what a fool’s game this conformity game is.” —Emerson


Make a lengthier list (15+) of your fundamental life assumptions. Return to each one and examine it attentively. Is this correct? Why do you think this is true? Is it because someone told you it’s true or because you’ve seen it demonstrated? Or because it’s something you’ve made a conscious decision to believe in?

Day 25

“The hobgoblin of tiny brains, beloved by little politicians, philosophers, and divines, is a silly consistency.” —Emerson

When was the last time you questioned a deeply held conviction? Is there a notion you’re clinging to despite mounting evidence to the contrary because you’re obstinate, don’t want to seem contradictory, or are just frightened to let go?

Day 26

“The finest ship’s trip is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks.” When you look at the line from a long enough distance, it strengthens to the average tendency. Your true deed will speak for itself, and your other genuine acts will speak for themselves. “Nothing explains your compliance.” —Emerson

Consider a period when you were pushed off course only to find yourself back on track – or even better.

When you’re forced to take a detour, how can you concentrate less on the eventual objective and more on accomplishing what’s right now?

Day 27

“If we live honestly, we will see honestly.” —Emerson

“Mental clarity is the offspring of bravery, not the other way around,” Nassim Nicholas Taleb stated.

Is there an area where confidence or action, rather than a book, may help you sort up your thoughts?

Day 28

“At times it feels as though the whole universe is conspiring to annoy you with forceful trifles. Friend, client, kid, illness, fear, lack, and charity all knock on thy closet door at the same time and cry, ‘Come unto us.’ But preserve thy cool; don’t get caught up in their tangle. Men have the ability to bother me because I give them that power via a weak curiosity. No one can get close to me until I do something.” —Emerson

“The man must be so much that he must render all surroundings indifferent,” Emerson says, which is scary. It’s difficult to be oblivious to all conditions, but we may strive to be oblivious to more of them.

Self-possession is important to Emerson, but the objective is to never lose touch with your humanity. “But your solitude must not be mechanical, but spiritual, that is, must be elevation,” says the statement that follows the above quotation.

How do you keep your sanity without becoming a misanthrope when the world appears to be out to get you?

Is it concerned with the appropriate issues? Is it because you’re so focused on your goal that every setback merely adds fuel to the fire? Is it mastering the art of taming your desires? To be more mindful of little annoyances? What do you think will work best for you?

Day 29

“When we talk about little matters, we become insignificant ourselves… You become what you pay attention to.” —Epictetus

Consider how you divide your time and attention throughout the day. How much of it is focused on the most essential things? How frequently do you let yourself become insignificant? What are you becoming if we become what we concentrate on?


Day 30

“Everything in life is an experiment.” It’s best if you do a lot of experiments.” Ralph Waldo Emerson (Ralph Waldo Emerson (Ralph Waldo Emerson (Ralp

“When we picture future events, we fill in details that will never happen and leave out ones that will.” When we picture future sensations, it’s hard to ignore how we’re feeling right now, and it’s impossible to predict how we’ll think about events in the future.” Daniel Gilbert (Daniel Gilbert) (Daniel Gilbert) (Daniel

If we are going to depend on our own experience with anything, we must first have experience with it!

We’re bad at visualizing how we’d appreciate something or how we’d act in a situation. We need to try new things. To get our hands dirty and see for ourselves if we enjoy it, whether the study pertains to us, or if the project we’ve been dreaming of is indeed what we want to do.

Where have you been unable to make a decision because you are torn between two options about which you have just a hazy understanding? Where have you been basing your decisions on assumptions? How can you put those assumptions to the test? What is the best way to perform an experiment to get direct experience with something?

Day 31

Having the assistance of others is one of life’s greatest blessings. Regardless of how much assistance we get, there will always be a step that only we can take. This is wonderfully expressed by Joseph Campbell. For The Power of Myth: A Discussion with Bill Moyers, he is seen here in conversation with Bill Moyers.

“Do I have to go down there and battle those monsters by myself when I take that journey?” Moyers asks.

“It’s good if you have someone who can assist you.” Campbell: But, in the end, the final act must be carried out by the individual. Psychologically, the dragon represents one’s own self-binding to one’s ego. The greatest dragon is inside you, and it is your ego that is squeezing you.”

Which dragon are you currently slaying? How and where is your ego preventing you from progressing? Have you been putting off acting for far too long? Have you been hoping that someone else will finish the fight for you? Have you been relying on others to keep you from taking the next move you know you need to take?

Are you up to the task of slaying the dragon on your own?

Are you up to the task of slaying the dragon on your own?


Kyle Eschenroeder is an entrepreneur and a writer. The Pocket Guide to Action: 116 Meditations on the Art of Doing was his first book. He sends out a letter once a week with five key ideas; if you’d like to be included, go here. 



The “becoming self-reliant” is a book by Russell Ballard. The novel describes how the protagonist, John Boone, becomes self-reliant after being stranded on an island for five years. Reference: becoming self-reliant m russell ballard.

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