The Secret Is Self Mastery: Whose Your Mirror?

 Little alley of mirrors; somewhere in Chelsea, NYC.

Little alley of mirrors; somewhere in Chelsea, NYC.

I was listening to Tim Ferriss’s podcast last week (Epside #325: Lessons from Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, Ray Dalio, and Other Icons) and on it, the guests said two very important things:

  1. Those who can’t master themselves will find others who can master over them 

  2. You must never fool yourself and you yourself are the easiest person to fool - Richard Feynman

As an extension of that, I’ve been thinking a lot about how there are people who are mirrors in our lives that show us where we are being enslaved, what we are being enslaved to, or how we are being enslaved. When I say “enslaved” I mean, slaves to our own minds. How can we become better masters of our minds and ultimately, masters of our lives? Often, in our hearts, we already know what is best for us, but sometimes our minds wander and we choose to ignore our inner voice because the unknown that comes with NOT doing that thing is scary. 

Mirrors, or people who we have really crappy experiences with, can either lead us astray or lead us back to what we know is true deep inside. They can be like a mirror, when the light shines on it, it can bounce in a new direction, leading you towards a person, thing, decision, that you wouldn’t have known before this “mirror” came into your life.  

Mirrors don’t always have to be bad. They can also show us that we are on the right path, already making the decisions that lead us closer to our truth. 

Marianne Williamson first introduced me to the concept of “acknowledging the mirrors who come into our lives”. I’ve played around with this concept since then have continued to ask myself, “how is this person or circumstance an opportunity to look deeper inside of myself?” 

Mirrors are an opportunity to pivot. We do it in start-ups all the time, so why not life?

Just this week, I’ve had quite a few mirrors come into my life. One example is of two people I spoke with this week. They reminded me of all the deeper truths I hold inside – that my dreams aren’t crazy, I’m making the right personal choices, and that I’m doing all the right things to grow my work. One of these people is a woman who I recently met and now deeply respect. She is about a decade ahead of me. In her 20’s, she led a similar life to the one I am now leading: spending time abroad, exploring the world of academia, running numerous projects abroad in her country of origin, facilitating spaces, helping people seek their sense of identity. She reminded me, once again, that life is not linear. It’s a winding path and eventually, if we are patient, all the pieces that look disconnected and chaotic end up coming together. 

Who are your mirrors? What have you learned from them?

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Rina PatelComment