Follow Your Own Path

carl g. jung carl jung joseph campbell mythology psychology self-actualization

The Universal Need for Individual Action

I was actually quite impressed that this idea would be espoused by Jung, whereas the practice of modern psychology pretty much revolves around fitting people into the system, rather than making a system that serves individuals. The trend has been to create disorders that are so general as to be useless, just so that we can assign everyone to some treatment category.

Jung's ideas seem to tie in very closely with Joseph Campbell's notions of a personal mythology, in which every individual must undergo some form of the hero quest in order to achieve full self-growth. For me, this has meant that I cannot get a good sense of what I need to do to accomplish my goals from other people. I can take inspiration and ideas, but ultimately, the solutions have to come from my own life.

Just Do What I Tell You

I think a lot of people read about cool things that others have done and try to attempt the same thing, only to find that they run into obstacles that aren't quite the same as those mentioned in the other story. They then tell themselves that it was the other person's unique situation that allowed them to succeed, instead of seeing that they need to come up with unique solutions of their own.

Inspirational gurus often tell us to just follow their system in order to succeed. I think the truth is that we must follow our own path to success. This shouldn't be used as an excuse not to follow in their footsteps, but an obstacle that might have been trivial for them might make us stop in our tracks. They would have no advice for how to deal with it, because they simply didn't have to. On the other hand, we might find things that stopped them very easy to deal with, based on our own personal skill set and experiences.