“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” —Oscar Wilde
Are you unhappy with your life?
Stop comparing, competing and wishing…and start living.
Maybe you’re not feeling very satisfied with your lifestyle- your dead-end job, your lack of something, your old beat up whatever. I never hear people complain about having too much opportunity, money, time, or friends. For example, that guy in the bright orange McLaren who passed me like I was standing still (at 70) on I-95 yesterday is probably not unhappy with his ride.
There are actually people who would fault him for that. How dare he be happy when there are so many people struggling to survive? (translation: I don’t have a McLaren and it makes me feel bad, so I want to punish him.) Someone might even say, ‘Who does he think he is?’ I bet he knows the answer to that question. He knows exactly who he is.
And your problem is not that you aren’t him and don’t have what he has- it’s that you don’t know who you are.
Notice I didn’t say ‘who you are supposed to be’? What does that mean anyway? Who decides who you’re supposed to be? Some teacher, parent, friend, significant other, boss…? What if it’s not about deciding? What if it’s about discovering? What if the answer is as easy as simply being you?
Allow me to suggest that all that stuff you are not happy about is the result of you trying to be someone else and failing miserably.
Whatever you really don’t like about your life- job, relationships, income, net worth, free time, crappy old beater car- what if it is all the result of your failure to live up to someone else’s expectations of your life? Think about it. I would be a pretty bad you even if I did my best to learn everything about you. And if I thought I was supposed to live according to a model that was chosen for me and for which I was not naturally inclined, I would fail and I would always be trying to overcome my inability to BE that person.
While we can certainly learn a few things from others who have done what we want to do, no one else has successfully lived your life so that you can model them. But if you’ve never taken the time to consider who you are, perhaps now is a good time to stop and introduce yourself to you.
Why beat yourself up trying to live someone else’s life?
Once you know who you are, you can decide to build your life based on the innate desires of your heart. Until then, it’s like trying to paint a house that hasn’t been built yet- nothing sticks, and you just end up with a mess.
Only you can be you. And you can’t be anyone else, so it looks like you’re stuck with you. Make the most of it. Stop accepting failure as you try to be someone you are not. Succeed at being you. It’s amazing how everything changes once we know who we are. And if someday you decide to pluck down 200k+ for a McLaren, please wave when you pass me, and when you look in the mirror, you’ll see me smiling and waving back.
Be yourself, because as Oscar says, everyone else is taken.