Hello! How are you this morning? Yeah, me too. Nearly the weekend, though.
Today I would like to ask you a question: are you what you want to be? There are three possible ways to think about this question.
Firstly, in physical terms: are you fit and healthy? Do you like your hair colour? Are you happy with your height and weight? If you can honestly say that you are what you want to be in terms of your physical appearance, then good for you. I think your pants might be on fire, though.
No one is ever totally happy with how they look, which is a massive shame (and almost entirely a result of the Western media), but I have good news regarding this. Firstly, there are things we can change if we really want to: we can dye our hair, we can take up exercise and we can drink more water. The second piece of good news is that how you look does not make you who you are, so let’s not worry about that.
The next way to think about my question is in terms of achievement: are you in the right job for you? Is your career progressing the way you hoped it would? Do you feel that you’ve achieved significant things?
This one is tricky because it’s something that we decide by comparing ourselves to our peers, and that only ever ends in smugness or despair. Once we leave school, the structure that kept us all on the same trajectory as our class mates is non-existent, and what happens to one of you no longer necessarily happens to everyone else. Don’t waste time being jealous of other people’s success, or feeling superior about your own: just get on with what you want to be achieving.
This one is slightly more important than the physical one, but it’s still not the key way to answer my question.
So, the third and most important way to answer my question: are you what you want to be in terms of personal attributes? Are you kind, are you patient, are you polite? Would your mother be proud of you? What do your friends say about you?
I am not suggesting that the way other people see us is more important than how we see ourselves, but after all, the people who love us aren’t sticking around because of how we look or what our job is, are they? (They’d better not be, anyway.)
This one is the hardest of all to change if we don’t like what we’ve got, but it can be done. If you want to be less prone to losing your temper you have to practise staying calm under pressure; if you want to be more assertive then you have to speak up when you’re intimidated. The best thing about this one is that it tends to be the one that your friends and loved ones are most willing to help you with, so you’re not alone with it.
Have a truly cracking Friday. Definitely treat yourself to a muffin today.
P.S. The title of this blog is a reference to this song by Foster the People. Good, ain’t it?