Self-realization happens bit by bit. We slowly learn about what we can achieve by working hard and pondering our identity and capabilities throughout our lives. We can’t fully understand ourselves because we don’t know how to use the inner tools we have.

These tools are inside us. Spiritual teachers and self-help guides keep telling us that they’re there and explain how they work. They show us how to change our lives and be more in control.

But even though we have these abilities inside, most of us don’t know how to use them. To access these tools, we have to stop being so focused on surviving. If we’re stuck in a way of thinking, or in a belief about what’s best for us, we can’t be spontaneous enough to break through the obstacles. We won’t find the extra energy to get past what’s stopping us from understanding ourselves. If we don’t take the time to pay attention to the truth of who we are, we won’t be able to achieve the personal transformation we want.

— Kevin Jeffers