Thursday, October 8, 2009

Discovering Your Best Self

“He/She is So Fake”

I don’t know about you, but I heard it a hundred times in junior high and highschool. The phrase was used to describe people that would shift from social group to social group. One day they may be wearing all out punk gear and the next dressing like an Abercrombie model. These people were shunned or made fun of, but in a lot of ways they were developing one of the most important strategies for success.

My early life can be characterized by a rigid world view of how things are. Things were black or white. In searching for the best way of doing things you very often find out that in reality there is a best way for YOU to do things. The only way to find out what’s best for you is to try doing it another way. I’ve had the rare fortune of being friends with people who are complete opposites of me in many ways. We’ve challenged each other’s ideas, values, etc. even down to mundane tasks. I’ve learned a lot about giving and selflessness. I’ve learned about acceptance and appreciation for the view of others.

This applies to activities as well. Chances are if someone tells me about an activity they enjoy I want to try it. Who knows I may find it enjoyable. In the last year and a half I’ve raced for the first time in a 5k, rode a road bike, skydived, cross fit, rock climbed, salsa danced, started a blog, planned my first cross-continental trip, etc. In each of these activities I’ve come out better for trying it. I’ve learned more about things I like and don’t like, met a lot of great people, and been exposed to ideas and cultures I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise.

I recently read the book Life Nomadic by Tynan (if you find travel interesting I recommend it) and he noted that when he travels the world for four to five months at a time he comes back and finds his friends in the same place doing the same thing. Nothing has changed for them. I would hope that isn’t the case for me. I was talking to an ex girlfriend the other day who I hadn’t talked to in awhile and she mentioned how much I’ve changed since college. That’s progress.

I sometimes wish I was more aggressive with trying new things or meeting new people. It’s a process. I’m not the master of change and I’m not doing anything special. I can look back though at myself from a year ago and know that I’m a better person. When we subscribe to a particular idealogy or way of living life we cut a statue from the same mold as someone else. Michelangelo’s David is a masterpiece because it’s one of a kind. If I walked into a museum and they had exact replicas of David throughout the whole museum I’d be bored after the first few. Each us of us is a unique creature with unique passions created by God for a unique purpose. Expose yourself to something new. Chisel and refine your greatest masterpiece; you.

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