I was at a workshop for which I had volunteered. I was there to help things go smoothly and to help with introducing speakers and cleaning up after it was finished. Near the kitchen door there were two garbage cans; one was for garbage, and one boasted a sign that it was intended for recycling. As I was waiting in line to discard my things into the trash, the man in front of me dumped his items into the correct cans, and then he reached into the garbage can, pulled out a plastic bottle, and put it into the recycling can. He didn’t pause, he didn’t debate, he didn’t make a snide comment about how ignorant some people are, he just reached in and grabbed it.
Now this may not sound very exciting, but the truth of the matter is; I noticed his act of environmentalism and I mentally applauded him for this. I could tell something about this man just from his actions. He is concerned about our planet, about our world, and he is smart enough to realize that our actions make a big difference to our surroundings.
Actions speak louder than words. We can all get on our soapboxes and say anything we want, but what do people see when they see us? What do our actions tell others about what’s important in our lives? If I say one thing and do another, do as I say not as I do, what does that really tell others about me?
Most people would call that a hypocrite. A hypocrite is basically a liar; a liar who claims they are something they are not. Now, don’t get me wrong, every one of us has been guilty of this in our lives. No human is perfect. But for most of us, its a rare occurrence. But if its not a rare occurrence in your life, perhaps you need to sit down and decide what it really is that you are. Who are you truly?
Sometimes we are placed into certain mindsets by other people; our parents, teachers, friends, peers, and even the media. There are so many people trying to live up to stuff that they don’t even care about! But they have been told that its important, and they believe it. We are told that if we aren’t successful, we are losers. But what is success? What does success look like in your mind? That’s what’s important. Perhaps you aren’t wealthy, but if you only see successfulness as wealth, you will have a low self-worth until you have made a lot of money. If you see successfulness as having a spouse and children, and you’re still single, then you’re also not going to be happy until you have that in your life.
But what if we saw successfulness as just being our true selves? What if we acknowledged that successfulness is different for each person?
Each of us is born with talents and abilities that are unique to ourselves. I like to call that our spiritual nature. We are all very different in that nature, but yet very similar in our human nature. We all have similar human needs; air, food, and water. But we all have different spiritual needs. We all have a purpose in life, a higher calling, an internal power that needs to be fed and nurtured.
Think back to when you were a small child. What did you want to be when you grew up? My mom kept this journal for each of her kids where she recorded different events in our lives; our first words, when we got our first tooth, and what we wanted to be when we grew up, among many other things. I wanted to be a farmer. My dad was a farmer, and so were both my grandfathers, and all my uncles. So what made a little girl want to be a farmer? I loved animals, and I loved being outdoors. I had my own row in the garden where I planted lots of seeds of different varieties and grew all sorts of things. I can remember beans, and zinnias, and melons, all growing in the same row in “my garden”. My parents always had a garden, and even though I hated weeding with a passion, I loved eating fresh produce right from the plant.
As I got older my preferred occupation changed many times. I held many different jobs, learned a lot about many different professions, and met hundreds of people. But do you know what I want to be when I grow up? A farmer. Isn’t that ridiculous? My children were both in their teens when I realized that I want to be a farmer. Not just live on a farm, I want to be an organic vegetable farmer.
I have a large garden, and that is my “farm”. I love to talk with people about health and food, and the importance of nutrition. How would I look if I talked like this but ate a bunch of junk food? I have a small convenience store, and its filled with processed food of every kind. But I have been putting what I eat on those shelves as well. I’ve been adding the organic foods, and the healthy snacks and treats. It will never be the organic grocery store, but its an improvement over what it was.
Once you figure out who you are in your heart, then you can start making the changes necessary to be true to yourself. As long as you know in your heart that you are true to yourself, then it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of you! That is a great feeling!! And once you no longer are worried about what other people think of you, you can start being yourself and stop trying to live up to the expectations of others.
Being yourself is the most successful person you can be. Who are you? Who are you really?
I would love to hear from others who are learning about themselves, please leave me a comment!