It’s possible to go through life without really putting your own stamp on what you do. You can go through the motions, do what is asked of you, check all the right boxes, but still not find an outlet that allows you to express yourself. It’s also true that you can live what appears to be an ordinary life, and through your personality and interaction, or your vision for the path forward, you can make it part of you, and in doing so, make your life a little less ordinary. This isn’t complicated, but it always involves a leap of faith—you have to take a chance and make yourself vulnerable. The risks that you take—the risk of failure, of opening yourself up to criticism or ridicule, of opening your heart and soul to the world—are all worth it, as the rewards are substantial. You’ll gain a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment that could not have come as a result of less personal achievements. We are all here to share who we are—don’t lose out on putting your own stamp on the world.
Just be yourself.
This is advice we may get when we are children. It implies that if you just be yourself, people will see that you’re genuine and will like you. Parents often offer related encouragement, like “You’re a great person” or “You’re really funny.” But the main point is that you should be yourself regardless of your admirable qualities because ultimately, you can’t successfully be anyone you’re not.
When we’re born, we are truly ourselves. There is no purer version of ourselves we can be. When we’re tired, hungry, scared, angry, or happy, there is no filter between those feelings and our identity. When children grow up, they may start to experiment with different identities and personas. They notice the personalities of their friends, siblings, and parents and start to mimic some of their personality traits. As many people continue to grow up, gain confidence, and become comfortable in their own skin, they are able to truly understand themselves and who they are and embrace their identity.
How much time do you spend trying to make other people happy? Most of us spend a lot of time working to fulfill a need or being responsive to the requirements of our various roles. This can be good, healthy, and normal, but it can also be very unhealthy if we do it to the […]
As I learn more and more, I feel like I know less and less. But to me, that is a positive thing.
Learning new things keeps life fresh, but it takes an open mind and a willingness to let go of our egos. So many of the problems in the world exist because one group of people thinks they know better than another group of people.
It’s OK to not know. In fact, “I don’t know” is a very underused and underappreciated expression.
In saying “I don’t know,” we’re not saying that we don’t have opinions or beliefs, or that we don’t know certain facts. We might be very well educated on an issue. But there’s always more to learn, and in learning, our perspective may change. We have to be open to that.