“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ~Aristotle
I came accross this quote today and it sparked some thought.
As we go through life, we often struggle with doing what’s best for us based on our own desires and values versus doing what’s best for us based on what others expect. It’s tricky, because in that process, we run the risk of loosing our selves.
See, when we are kids, we tend to be free, curious, creative, and bold. We take chances. We experiment. We are not afraid to fail. Then, somewhere along the line of life, we start to learn that compliance is the key to being accepted. We are bombarded with messages of how we’re supposed to behave, dress, feel, and what we’re supposed to have. And then, because we want to be accepted, we start living up to everyone else’s expectations, leaving behind a set of truths and values that only apply to us. We stop being ourselves and that’s when we start to feel trapped, insecure, and lost. No bueno.
We all go through this. The good part is that as we get older, hopefully, we get wiser and start to realize that living up to others’ expectations is like trying to ride a unicycle up Lombard Street during an ice storm.
Because of that, we will ( hopefully) slowly let go of things that don’t align with what we want or who we are. That my friend, is where freedom begins.
I challenge you to think about the things that you’ve learned about your self. Document them and embrace them. Here are some of mine.
I’ve accepted that I have the cooking skills of a 2 year-old. Cooking is not my forte. And that’s okay.
I’ve stopped believing in happy endings because I realized that there is more happiness in living in the moment.
I started to see my zero tolerance to cold weather as a design feature from my creator instead of a flaw.
I started to embrace my night owelness. No matter how hard I try, I’m not a morning person. To those morning people that get up fresh at 5 am and have their workout done before 6 am–good for you! I’m done trying to be like you.
I stopped purchasing closed toe and high heel shoes. They are as enjoyable to me as wearing a straitjacket.
I’m not putting career in front of my family. Putting career in front of family is as good as sentencing yourself to solitary confinement. You do (and will) need the support of you family to do well in your career.
I listen to kids. I’ve learned more from them than from most adults.
I realized that I do not have a problem with authority. I’m just a free spirit fueled by wanderlust
I realized that no matter what profession, how many degrees and letters we have after our names, or how hard we try to act like adults, we are all kids and artists at heart. And that’s okay.
I no longer let fear of failure paralyze me. Failure is an option and better yet, is one of the greatest teachers.