13 November 2008
“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
Most of us take an active part in the various areas of our life, but perhaps few of us take active part in creating ourselves. We often let forces like our peers, our family, and our circumstances, condition us, instead of taking advantage of the control we have over who we are, and shaping ourselves into the kind of person we want to be.
There is nothing specifically wrong with being a reflection of our friends, or our family, unless they are not who we want to be, and unless we have lost our individualism to their influence over us.
Many say they are still finding themselves, though no one knows how exactly this process of finding one's self operates, and it seems to result most often in great frustrations and despair. Not to mention that the idea of finding something is generally unappealing, knowing that what we find may not be what it is we want to find at all.
Perhaps we should not let life happen to us, as much as we should make life happen for us. Acknowledging that there is much beyond our control, we still have more control over who we are, and who we will become, than we often believe.
Why wait an unforeseen amount of time, in attempt and hope of discovering ourselves, when instead we could begin the process of character development at any given time?
It is all good and well to know others, but take the time to reflect, to know yourself, as well. Are you who you want to be?
Most of us like to create, and I find there is something so promising, so stirring, about the prospect of creating ourselves. This is not to say the process will be easy, there will surely be difficulties in molding ourselves, but imagine the possibilities of active participation in building your character versus simply letting your surroundings sculpt you.
Leo Tolstoy said, "Everyone thinks of changing the world, no one thinks of changing himself." Perhaps it is true that we often fuss over the flaws of the world, what we believe the world should be like, instead of first knowing our own shortcomings, and following that, most importantly improving our own character. And while we need not obsessively worry about what we do, or who we are, a healthy dose of self reflection can be quite beneficial.
There is tremendous power in knowing yourself, and even more power in daring to chisel away faults to unearth your own potential. May it seem an overwhelming task, it should not and does not happen in a day. Do not be afraid to start simple, after all, every accomplishment, and every journey, first begins with a single step.
Do you more so look to find yourself, or create yourself? Are you already who you want to be? If not, do you know what kind of person you want to be? How often, if ever, do you simply reflect on your life, and who you are, who you want to be? Other thoughts?
Title Quote: George Bernard Shaw
Photo Credits: Editorial "Niagara" from Elle Magazine Italia, photographed by Stefania Paparelli, and scanned by allicantaste @ www.livejournal.com.