Got Convictions? Introducing You to Your “Self”

Just after COVID hit us in the spring of 2020 I found myself spending a lot of time in my living room with nothing to do but stare at the boob-tube all day. At the same time the news was replete with the unrelenting escapades of our 45th president and the daily barrage of shenanigans was causing visceral reactions that I eventually needed to address. As I talked with my wife and kids I discovered that I wasn’t secure enough in my convictions to participate intelligently in discussions about the important issues that were poking at me.

So, this post isn’t about what caused my consternation but rather how I overcame my inadequacies, got to know my self better and how I obtained enough confidence to even have convictions let alone talk about them or write about them.

So here is what worked for me. Pick any hot button issue of the day that interests you and do the following:


  1. Write down what you think you know on the issue like someone else will be reading it.

  2. Scrutinize the issue (research and examine thoroughly)

  3. Ponder your findings (Reflect and contemplate)

  4. Edit what you wrote in step 1

  5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 until you feel a strong conviction.


Last April as I sat here watching the news while my blood pressure rose I decided I needed an outlet for my frustrations so I started a document named Ridge Rants envisioning that someday my granddaughter might read it and get an insight into poor PopPop’s psyche and understand what we were dealing with in a time long past. As I began scribbling about one hot topic after another I realized how ignorant I was about that which I thought I knew enough about to memorialize it for posterity. After careful scrutiny of the subject I had accumulated much information that needed to be contemplated and pondered upon. As that process progressed I began the rewrites to Ridge Rants which incited new realizations and further scrutiny followed by more pondering. This cycle continued until at last I came to the self realization that I had an undeniable conviction. An informed opinion! Wow! So, after all of that and now that I knew that I knew what I believed, I also know that opinions can change and that over time, with new information, evolving principles and further enlightenment my convictions will also evolve, and that’s ok. The groundwork has been laid for my personal growth to flourish.

So, a bitter thank you for the down time precipitated by the COVID lockdown and the catalyst in the form of our 45th president for without them both I wouldn’t be the opinionated old fart I am now.

I hope this helps you to find your better self and the trueness of your convictions.

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