Because everyone else is already taken. (Oscar Wilde)
Most cultures encourage people to be like each other in many ways (not all ways)…and the American culture is certainly one of them.
Being a high school student in the US is probably one of the most challenging experiences in terms of figuring out who you are and who you are not…..when there is so much peer pressure to conform. (I know this is intense in other cultures too, but I can’t speak to those.)
When you add into the mix the pervasive imprinting from organized religion, family mores, and ubiquitous advertising messages, it’s a wonder anyone finds their individual way. And yet some do.
So how do you manage to become the unique YOU you are here to be, amidst so much external influence? (I know my regular readers already know the answer to this!)
In order to be happy and feel fulfilled, you must follow your own path, march to your own drummer, heed your inner calling, etc. And when you do, you’ll be amazed at how much more fun life becomes!
Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best, “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
I can promise you that you won’t find fulfillment by trying to be like someone else, even someone you idolize. You can certainly strive to acquire certain characteristics or qualities that you admire in others, but you must still find YOUR unique way of incorporating them into your life, your path, your view of the world.
In other words, there is no pre-set template for YOU. You are here to create yourself….so why not get started and do it consciously, with awareness and thought?
If you don’t know where to start, think back to when you were very young, and remember what you loved to do, the things that drew your attention the most, what you dreamed about…..those memories will give you a starting point.
Here’s an example: when I was young, I always wanted to help others. This manifested in many ways back then, but the theme was consistent. So when I found myself in my mid-30’s with a waning appetite for life, I questioned why I wasn’t helping others.
As soon as I redirected my focus in life to helping others (I began volunteering, changed my career to a helping profession, etc.), the verve returned to my life….my joy came back!
Even if you feel like you’re on track with this, it doesn’t hurt to question yourself every so often: “In what other ways can I fully express who I am?”
Jump right in and let us know how you are carving your unique path in this world!