We grow up under the influence of what others expect us to be.
As a kid, adults ask you: what do you want to be when you grow up? When they ask that question they don’t expect you to say you want to be yourself.
They would like to hear you want to become something else. Like a doctor, an engineer or maybe a pilot. But that’s not you. That’s someone else’s life that you’re expected to follow.
In the world of pretending, being yourself has become a challenging task. We’re trained to follow the footsteps of others and expect to be happy.
We don’t learn that happiness comes from being yourself not being someone else. What would a kid know about the life of a doctor or an engineer?
In most cases, your parents, your teachers and everyone around you do their best to turn you into something new and different.
The only problem with that goal is that you don’t end up getting better at who you are and what you love already as a kid.
If you draw or play with Lego they just think that’s some kid activity and you’ll grow out of it because you’ve got more important things to learn.
They try to teach math to a kid that wants to draw and if the kid fails at it the parents are called in because everyone’s worried about the kid’s future.
Parents and teachers do their best to make us fit in when we were born to stand out.
So there’s no doubt that to be yourself you need to undo all that work. You need to stop one day and decide to cherish who you already are and stop trying to be someone one else.
Your only job in this world is to stay true to who you are and be yourself as much as you can. You know why? Because everyone else is taken.
When you start recognizing your gift of being unique, you can’t afford to spend time on pleasing others by pretending to be someone else.
But how can you find the uniqueness in you and be yourself?
Start noticing your daily activities and see what you’d rather do if you didn’t have to work or if money was no object.
You can ask yourself the important question of what are you willing to do if today was the last day of your life?
I bet the answer won’t be pleasing your parents or teachers. So what are you waiting for? Look inside and see where you find peace. Find that one thing that when you do it you lose track of time and do more of that.
Just because your uncle was a doctor or an engineer doesn’t mean he’s truly happy and it also doesn’t guarantee that you’d be happy doing that.
The world doesn’t need more jobs. They all sooner or later will be replaced by machines anyway. What the world needs is more people like you to be themselves.
Who you are should not be constrained or defined by what you do. There are a few lucky people who live that way but for the majority of us, it’s not the case.
So we all need you to stop pretending to be someone else and do your best to be yourself. Because when you become yourself, you inspire others to do the same.
I’ve taken on a 90-day writing challenge to get better at writing. Every business day I write about my life lessons including wins and fails.
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