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I’m Not Afraid To Be Myself Because An Original Is Worth More Than A Copy

I’m Not Afraid To Be Myself Because An Original Is Worth More Than A Copy

If you’re like most of us, you’re going through life trying to figure out the best way to fit in. Because unfortunately we’ve been conditioned to measure our worth against that of our neighbor, we get caught up in the rat race of keeping up with everybody else, of doing what everybody else is doing. Graduate high school, go to university, get married, get a good job, have kids, and retire someplace sunny. If everyone is doing it, you tell yourself, it must be the right thing to do.

Sound familiar? Don’t make this mistake. You’re worth more than that. You are like art in that “an original is worth more than a copy.” It’s time to be true to yourself and the find the happiness that you deserve.

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“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” – John F. Kennedy

To a certain degree, conforming to social expectations is something humans have traditionally done out of need for survival. In fact, conformity is so ingrained in our being that social rejection actually elicits a feeling of danger in our brain. The opposite happens when we follow the crowd.[1]

It can be difficult to fight this feeling. But think of this important life lesson: “Don’t follow the crowd, follow your own way. Do what you love.”[2] How will you ever grow as an individual if you are so concerned with being like everybody else? Try to work up the courage and the motivation to be unique. Being an individual in a world full of copies is one of the best ways to find success in doing what you love.

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“In the end… We only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have,and the decisions we waited too long to make.” – Lewis Carroll

Remember how much fun you had that one winter semester you took off from school to work at a ski resort? Or how amazing the view was from atop the mountain you climbed with friends you met at your hostel? No? That’s because you were too busy being like everybody else to do something you love.

Here is the brutal truth: “You will badly regret the things you didn’t do far more than the things you did that were wrong.”[3] The important life lesson here is that even if you make a mistake in life, you still learn something new. That’s far more valuable that not taking risks, not making mistakes, and not learning anything new. This life lesson should be all the motivation you need.

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“A self that goes on changing is a self that goes on living.” – Virginia Woolf

Too often we think that happiness lies in finding ourselves. Somewhere along the way, we’ve learned that our true self is somewhere, hidden away, and it is our life’s purpose to find it. How many times have you heard somebody commenting that they had to get away to find themselves?

Focusing on finding yourself is not the path to happiness. The reason behind this lies in a life lesson taken from Buddhism: “The self is always changing.”[4] If you accept this idea, you realize that it becomes impossible to find your true self. Instead, you have the power to change yourself at any given moment in life. Now, you can focus on being the person you want to be and on finding happiness.

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Take an honest look at your life. Are you being true to yourself or to the expectations of everyone around you? Remember, your value lies in being original. You owe it to yourself to be true to your dreams, to pursue your happiness, and to live life without regrets.

Featured photo credit: Negative Space via pexels.com

Reference

More by this author

Amber Pariona

EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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