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I found the words of Dr. William R. Maples, Ph.D., in describing suicide victims to be poignant.
Maples is a forensic researcher, diagnosing how and when people died. In Dead Men Do Tell Tales, he says, "Many of the skeletons that come into my laboratory belong to suicide victims who behaved like shy hermits in their final hours."
"Usually they are found in remote out-of-the-way places. People often go to some hidden place to kill themselves, whether from a desire to act alone and unhindered, or because they wish simply to disappear in solitude, spending their last moments in reflective silence."
Would these people have killed themselves if they could've attained reflective silence throughout their days? Was their quest to die alone simply an ill-advised solution to the stresses they faced? How would their lives have been if they knew appropriate, reliable ways to find solace in the here and now, at home, at work, and everywhere in between?
The masses take pills by the boatload. The masses race through their days. The masses, by and large, live lives of tension and turmoil. Stress has become the malady of the generation, and it's better to not follow the crowd.
Being true to yourself means doing what you need to do to stay healthy, balanced, and relaxed. It means having inner directness. It requires drawing upon your knowledge, experience, and instinct to carve your own path; and to have less stress because you are less swayed by popular or prevailing norms. It is thinking and acting based on an ever-developing internal guidance system.
Being true to yourself means learning what doesn't work. You determine what is relevant to you and what is not, and ultimately, what is appropriate for you and what is not, to stay in control of your day, every day, and of your life which could well extend for many decades.
Jeff Davidson is "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" and the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com
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