I Remember The Day Clearly.
So clearly in fact that I even remember what I was wearing. Well partly anyways. I was home for the weekend. This was a rare occasion as I spent the majority of my time at my residence at University with my friends (even though I was a mere 30 min from home).
My homecomings were largely to do the washing, raid the fridge and unwind, before returning to the mayhem that is the student life at University.
I had just started dating a girl. It had been two days since it had been official. But I had this feeling inside of me. This feeling that this isn’t what I truly wanted. I felt as If I had made the wrong decision. I was thinking about breaking it off.
These thoughts about breaking it off were occupying my mind. I decided to have a chat to my dad. I explained the situation to him and how I felt. The conversation ended with him telling me something that I will never forget. Something that has remained with me ever since. Something that I have used as a silent guide throughout my life. He said:
“Always stay true to yourself”.
At the time, I did not truly comprehend what it meant and how important staying true to yourself is in the bigger scheme of things, but as I write this today I comprehend it with such clarity.
Simply Put, It Means:
Living a life that is true to who, you are as a person. Living a life that is in line with your values, your desires, your dreams. It means pursuing things that are meaningful to you. It means doing what you love. Living a life where the best version of yourself radiates. Despite societal pressure. Despite what others say. Despite what others think. Living your life. Not a life others expect of you.
Now I Know This Can Be Difficult.
After all, we live in a world full of institutions. A world full of rules. A world where we are told what we should and shouldn’t do. A world where we often find ourselves pleasing others at the expense of our own happiness. A world where quite frankly we care too much about what others think (I am guilty of this often). A world in which we are totally encapsulated by the rat race and making money, buying things and impressing others.
In such a world, it can be extremely difficult to stay true to yourself because there is so much which ultimately pulls us in the other direction, the wrong direction.
But It can Be Done.
Take a step back, simplify your life and ask yourself what is truly important to you in the bigger scheme of things.
It’s probably things like your friends, your freedom, not that designer T-Shirt you bought to impress someone for a job interview. Take time to listen to those urges inside of you that are pulling you in a certain direction. Follow your gut. Your instincts – they are rarely wrong – this was exactly what I did when I quit my job to travel the world.
Start doing things which you feel society won’t agree with or might frown upon. Start caring less. Practice this ability. Go to the shop barefoot (Yes, I do this). Do those little things which you don’t do because you care too much, but that you really want to do. Start letting the real you shine through.
After All, It is More Important Than You Think.
Your happiness as a person is in many ways governed by it. And in pursuing activities and a life that remains true to who you are despite what others think, you silently give others permission to do the same.
It May Even Help You Live A Life of No Regrets.
I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not what others expect of me.
I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
I wish I had let myself be happier.
Low and behold point one – not living a life where you remain true to yourself was one of the biggest regrets people had.
So I urge you to start living a life that you truly want. A life where you remain true to who you are, not one based on what other expect of you. Not one based on what society expects of you. After all, you only have one life. And there is only one you. So why wouldn’t you let that truly shine through?
Are you living a life that remains true to who you are? If not, what is holding you back?