I have always loved this quote by Alan Alda. In fact, I think I first came across it was in my early twenties, and I have kept it either in my idea journal or on my idea board ever since. It was a necessary reminder that when doubt rises within, it is imperative that we look deeply into it rather than run back to what is comfortable. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
During this past week, I came across a few posts on the blogosphere, as well as a handful of comments either made on my blog, sent by email or conversed about while I was involved with events during the week, that centered around the idea of what Alda is trying to help everyone realize – the journey may be difficult, frustrating, uncomfortable and absolutely make no sense at times, but the result of all of these obstacles is a beautiful prize at the end – the discovery of who you are.
Now some may debate, should you be trying to find yourself or create yourself, and quite honestly, I have to say, don’t let semantics get in the way. Both statements are one and the same. By finding yourself, you are creating yourself, and by creating yourself, you are finding yourself.
And the beauty of this is that each person does it in their own time, in their own way and at their own pace. Some may choose to not make any serious commitments in their twenties until they’ve reached this goal. Others may come to realize they need to understand what makes them tick well after their thirties because they’ve realized they never took the time in their youth. Whenever you choose to invest in yourself is the right time, but do be sure to invest.
Most people find the making of the decision to put themselves first quite a bit easier than the actual process, but one of the best pieces of advice I can give is to allow yourself to gradually become comfortable with your own company.
When you are able to be by yourself, you then are able to listen to what your gut/heart/soul is saying, what is wanting to be heard. Just as Littlefoot’s Mother in The Land Before Time says so simply and perfectly, “Let your heart guide you. It whispers, so listen carefully.”
In this world, wherever in the world you might be, the rush of society will always be whirling around you, pulling and tugging at you to stay in the fray, but keep in mind, it wants you to stay consumed with the insanity for its benefit, not yours. I equate it to adult peer pressure.
It will take strength to step out of the hustle and bustle in order to make time for yourself, but don’t worry, it will be there when you’re ready to get back into it again, after all, it needs you. So if you are in a quandary, or have never considered truly getting to know your wants, your desires, your talents, think about the increased quality of life you could be living simply because of the contentment, self-satisfaction and peace of mind you will have found.
It will take strength, but aren’t you worth it? After all, as Aristotle reminds us, “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
Have a lovely Monday and always believe that you will be successful if you continue to step forward.