Be Who You Are
We spend our lives trying to be the person we think we should be. Sometimes those “shoulds” comes from outside sources: our family and friends, our coworkers, or even just society in general.
And it starts young.
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” we’re asked.
“Get good grades so you can get into a great college.”
As we get older, it becomes “When are you two going to tie the knot/have kids?” or “Don’t you think it’s about time for a _____?”
Pervasive and persuasive
Sometimes the “shoulds” are a little less blatant, but even more pervasive. We see how things work on TV and unconsciously believe that we must follow suit.
We’ve got to have a career, somehow live an upscale magazine advertisement life on peanuts, and spend our time with only appropriately-laugh-track-flawed but otherwise lovable and perfect friends and family.
Sometimes, the “shoulds” come from within. Those are the worst, because it means we’ve internalized all the outside shoulds, taken them for our own, and stirred our own little foibles and guilt into the mix.
They’re pervasive and persuasive.
The shoulds cost us, both money and otherwise
To make all those shoulds happen, we spend and buy as needed to fit in. Or sometimes we do the reverse, making sure folks know that even though it looks like we’re driving a little sports car, it’s really an old economy car.
We work on the goals we think we should have, instead of the things we really want to do, and then wonder why we feel vaguely dissatisfied when we achieve them.
Of course, we have to eat, and we need a place to stay warm and dry. We need love, too. But all the rest of it?
Why not be who you really are instead?
Being who you really are means being brave. It means taking risks. It means using your money to do what’s right for you. Spending on what matters to YOU instead of what society dictates.
It means saying hey, this is who I am, I hope you like me, but even if you don’t I’m going to keep right on being myself.
If you aren’t living your dreams — or at least trying to — whose life are you living?