When Socrates said, “The unexamined life is not worth living,” he was defending his practice of teaching his students to think for themselves, to examine the ideas that had been “given” to them. We all have thoughts that were given to us by our families, our society, our culture. These given thoughts are so pervasive and so ingrained that they seem like part of our very being, but that’s exactly why we need to dig in and examine them if we want a life worth living. Richard Brodie talks about these given thoughts or memes in his book Virus of the Mind as “thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes in your mind that can be spread to and from other people’s minds.” Memes are ideas that are transmitted, like viruses, and take up residence in our heads. Their presence can influence our behavior and limit us in ways we don’t even notice unless we make a real effort to examine what we think and why. Memes die hard because they’ve become who we think we are. They aren’t necessarily good or bad; some may even serve our health and well-being. But, if we allow these unexamined thoughts to become excuses for not living our best life, such as “I’ll always be poor, unlucky, overweight, shy, lonely, angry, addicted,” then they need to be hauled out into the sunlight and challenged. Don’t let your unexamined thoughts cause you pain and keep you from living your Divine purpose.