The choice of title will make itself clear, don’t worry.
I was reflecting on my long term goals and about the kind of people that I want to connect and surroud myself with- people who make me want to be a better person. But is that right? I believe that you cannot grow by staying in your comfort zone and should seek out opportunities that encourage personal growth.
And that is not wrong. What is wrong, however, is the idea that we should strive to become better people. Why? Because such abstract generalisations are just that- abstract. You should want to become the best version of yourself. That requires inflection rather than becoming a reflection of those we admire. Inspiration is necessary but what we need a little more of is perspiration. It is far easier to look at a CEO or a talented author or doctor or whomever and say “I want to be like that” than to look at ourselves and critique who we are and who we need to become. The “I want to be like that” mindset mimics the unrealistic dreams we had as children, which the fewest of us actually ended up following. It’s time to set personal goals: whether it’s to eat better, go to the gym more, read more books, start that company, that website.
You cannot grow by staying in your comfort zone
The reason behind all of this is that otherwise you look at yourself one day and do not know the person you have become and don’t even know where to start looking for the old you. It is okay to mimic confidence in unfamiliar settings or during public speaking but it is another thing entirely to live life as an extrovert when you’re the most introverted person there is. Because you will not thrive this way.
During the course of writing this, I came across a Facebook post from one of those self-made-millionare-at-twenty types who promoted the opposite, posing the question: “who are we really and if we can’t know the answer to that then what is the importance to staying loyal to our own idea of who we are?”
It’s an idea that halted my writing process for a little bit because it caused a bit of an existential crisis if I’m being honest with you. It has obvious connections to pyschology and sciences, the nature versus nurture argument, and is something my previous study of psychology at school only taught me a little bit about. But to what extent can we change who we percieve ourselves to be by placing ourself into situations we feel are out of our comfort zone? It could make some people discover another aspect of their ‘self’ but conversly, it could solidify another person’s sense of identity.
So who am I? I can’t count how many times I have been told I don’t look like ‘the typical law student’ and then, in turn, those who know I am a law student ask why I go out clubbing so much; shouldn’t I be in the library? The problem is more the expectation that we can have to fit a certain mold even now in the age of multi-hyphenate job titles, where influencers have clothing lines and books and fragrances but I can’t be a law student who listens to hip hop on the way to lectures and enjoys going to a bar or a club at the weekend? Instead I have decided to just enjoy what I enjoy and watch myself develop into the person I am meant to be but that reintroduces the notion of ‘fate’ that I still somehow struggle with. And is it not slightly complacent to just sit back and watch your sense of identity unfold? I don’t think so. It doesn’t mean I am not constantly self-analysing and adapting certain traits, it just means that I cannot see into the future. After all, we are never finished developing and to argue otherwise is a bit naive, in my opinion, so I’m just taking it one day at a time, trying to be the best I can be in every given situation. Sure, in hindsight we could have all done it better or have done it differently, but that’s not the point.
Happy Saturday x