Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Journal Entry - New Beginnings

Thought of the day

Own and accept who you are as a person. Look deeply into yourself, evaluate the person you are, evaluate the experiences of your past, and determine what you have to offer the world. Each and every one of us has a unique set of skills we bring to the table that, when cultivated, become a valuable asset. For so long I looked at my life with disdain through the lens of social convention and wished to be someone else. I wished I had a father in my life, had more money growing up, wasn't mixed race, wasn't such a thinker who spent so much time evaluating everything around me, that I wasn't such a sexual being, that I could dance, went to college and earned a degree, and on rare occasions wished to be a different race due to how I was treated. I looked at other people's lives and perceived them to be better than mine and imagined what life would be like for me if I were them. What I didn't realize was that I was doing myself a disservice. I spent so much time wishing to be someone else and trying to fit into a mold that wasn't made for me that I lost valuable time that would've been better spent learning and developing my own attributes. I didn't understand that my life experiences gave me a special insight that others didn't have. I am able to understand and touch the lives of people that others I perceive as better than me couldn't  - or wouldn't if they could.
Whats more, when you accept and love yourself you exude a vibe of confidence that other people feel, identify with, are drawn to, and aspire to emulate. It's a well known fact that everyone has people that don't like them. Furthermore, there is always someone with more of a particular thing or attribute than you, so what's the benefit to acting like something you're not? No matter how great you become or how great you are perceived by others there will be someone else, past or present, who is/was perceived as greater. I'm not saying that we should all accept mediocrity or that we should stop striving to be better. I am suggesting quite the opposite! In order for us to be our best we must be ourselves and accept who we are. This will allow us to better know ourselves, our strengths, weaknesses, and limitations. Once we know that we can strive not to be different; but to be a better version of who we already are.

Trying to be something you're not is like being someone else's stunt double. The stunt double looks similar to the actor sufficient enough for them to do a stunt in place of the actor while still giving the appearnance to the viewer that the actor did the stunt. The stunt double essentially assumes the identity, for all intents and purposes, of the actor. Let's take this analogy a bit further and point out that actors themselves portray someone else. When we fashiorn ourselves after someone else, we run the risk that they themselves aren't being authentic in which case we would be copying a copy. Bottom line is that no matter how hard we try to be something else, we will never be as good as the original so our only option for true greatness is to love and be our original selves.

Since I decided to let go and be myself boldly I have been more happy and free than ever. I am no longer trapped by the web of peer pressure and social conformity. I am better able decide the direction of my life and subsequently follow along that path because I know and love who I am. This state of being has fostered confidence both in myself and those around me. As a result, more and more opportunities both professionally and interpersonally, have opened themselves up to me that were previously closed. Additionally, I don't have to worry about my true nature seeping out at the wrong times because there is no variance between who I am when alone versus who I am around other people. This frees me up to concentrate on the task at hand - self improvement.

When you do this, you will find that some people may walk away from you; but for every person who leaves there will be another who will take their place. What good about that is the new people are there because of who you actually are and not who you portray yourself to be. So be proud, stand tall, and love yourself!

Journal Entry

This past few weeks have been pretty awesome! I was finally able to take a real vacation where I was out of my element and able to "get away from it all". Thanks to a good friend I was able to go down to Miami and spend a few days. I had never been there before and I had a blast. The whole time I was there I didn't think about work, home, or any of the issues I had going on before I left. I just existed and enjoyed my surroundings such as they were. There was something cathartic about swimming in the ocean. It made me realize that there is so much out there in the world that is larger than both me and my problems. Being there was like stepping into a different world. There were so many things to see, so many things to do, and so many of my senses were engaged. Overall it was a good trip. Also, on the drive back I was able to stop by in Athens, Georgia to see my daughter. That was probably the best part of all. I wish I had more time with her, but the time I did have was better than none at all. It's so crazy that my little girl is all grown up and starting out on her own life. We were able to catch up a bit and kind of get reacquainted to the extent possible given the time we had. I learned that my daughter is a really smart and loving person. I also appreciate that in many ways she is doing better than I was at her age. I think that that is the very least a parent can hope for regarding their children.

Since I have been back though, things have become a bit different for me in that I have a new and fresh perspective on my life. I am now very thankful for all of the experiences in my life thus far both good and bad because it has given me so much insight and has enhanced my perception of many things from many different perspectives. I accept my path in life which has been inadvertently forged by me. I have learned that everything in my life to this point has happened to prepare me for the road ahead. So I now choose to embark on a journey that utilizes what I've learned along the way. You see, I used to be embarrassed about the fact that I was just a simple working class man who never went to college and who possessed only a GED. Now, I feel a bit differently. My life was meant for a different road. My degree is not from that of a university, but of the school of life. Not long ago I watched a speech by Steve Jobs where he spoke of connecting the dots of your past to shape your future and instantly identified with it. I'm now realize that all of the hardships I have been through, though mostly caused by my choices, are resources to be used to make me a stronger and better man. I have chosen to follow my heart and chase my dreams wholeheartedly. Additionally, I have chosen to own who I am and make my mistakes boldly as I perpetually strive towards perfection.

Until next time...

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Always good to take a step back from everything and reevaluate