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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 10, 2019

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

5 Smart Reasons to Start Journal Writing Today

Here’s the truth: your effectiveness at life is not what it could be. You’re missing out.

Each day passes by and you have nothing to prove that it even happened. Did you achieve something? Go on a date? Have an emotional breakthrough? Who knows?

But what you do know is that you don’t want to make the same mistakes that you’ve made in the past.

Our lives are full of hidden gems of knowledge and insight, and the most recent events in our lives contain the most useful gems of all. Do you know why? It’s simple, those hidden lessons are the most up to date, meaning they have the largest impact on what we’re doing right now.

But the question is, how do you get those lessons? There’s a simple way to do it, and it doesn’t involve time machines:

Journal writing.

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Improved mental clarity, the ability to see our lives in the big picture, as well as serving as a piece of evidence cataloguing every success we’ve ever had; we are provided all of the above and more by doing some journal writing.

Journal writing is a useful and flexible tool to help shed light on achieving your goals.

Here’s 5 smart reasons why you should do journal writing:

1. Journals Help You Have a Better Connection with Your Values, Emotions, and Goals

By journaling about what you believe in, why you believe it, how you feel, and what your goals are, you understand your relationships with these things better. This is because you must sort through the mental clutter and provide details on why you do what you do and feel what you feel.

Consider this:

Perhaps you’ve spent the last year or so working at a job you don’t like. It would be easy to just suck it up and keep working with your head down, going on as if it’s supposed to be normal to not like your job. Nobody else is complaining, so why should you, right?

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But a little journal writing will set things straight for you. You don’t like your job. You feel like it’s robbing you of happiness and satisfaction, and you don’t see yourself better there in the future.

The other workers? Maybe they don’t know, maybe they don’t care. But you do, you know and care enough to do something about it. And you’re capable of fixing this problem because your journal writing allows you to finally be honest with yourself about it.

2. Journals Improve Mental Clarity and Help Improve Your Focus

If there’s one thing journal writing is good for, it’s clearing the mental clutter.

How does it work? Simply, whenever you have a problem and write about it in a journal, you transfer the problem from your head to the paper. This empties the mind, allowing allocation of precious resources to problem-solving rather than problem-storing.

Let’s say you’ve been juggling several tasks at work. You’ve got data entry, testing, e-mails, problems with the boss, and so on—enough to overwhelm you—but as you start journal writing, things become clearer and easier to understand: Data entry can actually wait till Thursday; Bill kindly offered earlier to do my testing; For e-mails, I can check them now; the boss is just upset because Becky called in sick, etc.

You become better able to focus and reason your tasks out, and this is an indispensable and useful skill to have.

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3. Journals Improve Insight and Understanding

As a positive consequence of improving your mental clarity, you become more open to insights you may have missed before. As you write your notes out, you’re essentially having a dialogue with yourself. This draws out insights that you would have missed otherwise; it’s almost as if two people are working together to better understand each other. This kind of insight is only available to the person who has taken the time to connect with and understand themselves in the form of writing.

Once you’ve gotten a few entries written down, new insights can be gleaned from reading over them. What themes do you see in your life? Do you keep switching goals halfway through? Are you constantly dating the same type of people who aren’t good for you? Have you slowly but surely pushed people out of your life for fear of being hurt?

All of these questions can be answered by simply self-reflecting, but you can only discover the answers if you’ve captured them in writing. These questions are going to be tough to answer without a journal of your actions and experiences.

4. Journals Track Your Overall Development

Life happens, and it can happen fast. Sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and look around at what’s happening to us at each moment. We don’t get to see the step-by-step progress that we’re making in our own lives. So what happens? One day it’s the future, and you have no idea how you’ve gotten there.

Journal writing allows you to see how you’ve changed over time, so you can see where you did things right, and you can see where you took a misstep and fell.

The great thing about journals is that you’ll know what that misstep was, and you can make sure it doesn’t happen again—all because you made sure to log it, allowing yourself to learn from your mistakes.

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5. Journals Facilitate Personal Growth

The best thing about journal writing is that no matter what you end up writing about, it’s hard to not grow from it. You can’t just look at a past entry in which you acted shamefully and say “that was dumb, anyway!” No, we say “I will never make a dumb choice like that again!”

It’s impossible not to grow when it comes to journal writing. That’s what makes journal writing such a powerful tool, whether it’s about achieving goals, becoming a better person, or just general personal-development. No matter what you use it for, you’ll eventually see yourself growing as a person.

Kickstart Journaling

How can journaling best be of use to you? To vent your emotions? To help achieve your goals? To help clear your mind? What do you think makes journaling such a useful life skill?

Know the answer? Then it’s about time you reap the benefits of journal writing and start putting pen to paper.

Here’s what you can do to start journaling:

Featured photo credit: Jealous Weekends via unsplash.com

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