Find your own truth.
Be the best version of yourself.
Find your own voice.
Each of the above statements makes a ton of sense.
Each of us is unique. And what works for me may not work for you.
But does that mean that we shouldn’t learn from others’ experiences?
As much as we’d like to believe that we don’t ape anyone, it’s not true.
We are all products of what we consume and experience. Whether that’s stuff we read, what we watch &hear, and the people we’re with..we’re constantly being molded in certain ways.
We may not realize it, but it’s happening nevertheless.
But is that bad? Not necessarily.
It’s hard to get anything useful done without standing on the shoulders of the giants who came before us.
As Stephen Covey says, Interdependence is an evolution from Independence.
Accepting that we need help in certain areas of our lives is a sign of maturity, not weakness.
So now, we’re at the crossroads: Are we to “trust ourselves” or are we to “rely on others”?
As the proverbial consultant would say..it depends 🙂
“Breakfast is super important.”
“8 hours sleep is mandatory.”
“3 liters of water a day is necessary”
A friend of mine frequently keeps quoting what he reads in the newspapers. And also tends to believe these as whole truths.
I asked him this: “But does it work for you?”
“It’s supposed to. That’s what the research says.”
In another discussion with the same friend, our conversation veered toward Yoga.
“I don’t think Yoga will work for me. I can’t bend forward. I’m too old for this. I’m different.”
Those were his comments.
It’s strange..isn’t it? On the one hand, we believe and propagate that we’re unique.
On the other, we choose to accept whatever is written by others even before we’ve confirmed if it works for us.
We don’t pause to ponder why those one-size-fits-all prescriptions don’t actually work for everyone. Could it be because each of us is actually unique?
And it’s at this stage, that we come back full circle.
There are two things we need to do:
1. Believe that each of us is indeed unique.
2. But also realize we’re also the same as others in many ways
The key is to blend the above 2 ideas in a useful way so that we can make the most of the wisdom that has been shared by the generous souls around us.
We can accept that we’re very similar to others in many ways – without the fear of losing our individuality. And we can believe that we’re unique without losing out on absorbing the wisdom and experiences of others.
Instead of being gullible to ideas that seem useful initially or skeptical of ideas that don’t, we should make an attempt to experiment with these ideas ourselves. What works and what doesn’t.
If it works for you, go ahead and continue. If it doesn’t try something else.
“How long should I try something, before I know for sure whether it’s going to work for me or not?”
Ah, now that’s a topic for another post 🙂