We sometimes learn quite terrible things about ourselves. This does not mean, however, that we understand why we are like this. Maybe it’s beside the point. Maybe what is important is to resolve to do something about it. This requires in the first instance a courageous but unpleasant procedure – the identifying of the worst aspects of our character, and naming them. It needs a sense of purpose and resolution, and some considerable nerve. The foresight to understand that this step is necessary is important. We must understand ourselves well enough to be able to do something about those things that burden us.
During the course of any inventory it is important to resist the temptation to label and categorise such defects that may have presented themselves. Doing so often deliberately avoids the painful but necessary process of analysing the facts first. We might find that the true nature of many situation are quite different to our memory of them, as are the conclusions we could quite conveniently draw from them. A superficial and easy label, in other words, may not actually be supported by the evidence, and other instances hide within their generalities much more complex and interesting issues. Without hard work, clichés often hide untruths and excuses.