Frederick Buechner once wrote that "we live in falsity when we live from the outside in rather than from the inside out." I came across this quote while reading a different author last week and can't get the thought out of my mind.
I think this is the core issue with so much of the world today. We have allowed outside influences to determine our path rather than choosing a path and walking it. We buy what we are told is best to buy, we read what we are told is best to read, we drive what we are told is best to drive and we live where we are told it's best to live. I'm not talking just about advertisement, but also of a societal movement to find equity in mimicry, i.e. we are better people because we do things alike and buy things alike.
Living from the inside out brings uniqueness. Unfortunately in our society, uniqueness is not often rewarded. If it is rewarded, it soon turns into a trend to be followed, thus eliminating it as unique. Competition, a religion in the U.S., is a matter of how I can be like you, but better. Living from the inside out eliminates competition and encourages community. If I intrinsically provide something different than you, we can work together as a support for each other and others.
Think about living from the inside out, at home, in your business, in your spiritual life. Being self aware is the first step. Self awareness is not nurtured in our society because we are taught to key on and react to external influences from an early age. Try this for a first step. Take a walk and eliminate any outside input. Walk very early before there is a lot of noise and leave your iPod at home.
Listen. I think you'll be amazed at what you hear. More later....