Mixtape artwork for The Weeknd's Thursday
This is another post that is inspired by music. The song in this case is The Zone by The Weeknd featuring Drake.
What stuck out in the song to me and inspired me to write this post is the line where Drake says:
“she said make enough so I can try some, I thought taking drugs just ain’t you, be you...., yea girl, just be you...”
This brings me to the subject of this post...Being Yourself.
Now I could go on and on about how everyone should be themselves and try not to be someone else but that would fall on deaf ears because not only have we all heard this countless times but also not everyone views this subject the same way. I’m going to stick strictly with my opinion and views of what being yourself is and what it entails.
For starters being yourself is very important to me. Originality is everything. Granted with nearly 7 billion people in the world there are bound to be countless people that are similar to or even nearly identical to you but they’re still different. Even twins, born in the same house, raised by the same parents, eat the same food, around the same people, and even in some cases live the same life still manage to be different in their own way.
To me, being yourself is staying true to your nature. It’s embracing your shortcomings whatever they are, and working to be better. It’s knowing your strengths and playing to them instead of trying really hard to hide your weaknesses or just be different for the sake of it.
Being yourself to me is understanding that you will be influenced by people around you both far and near, but being yourself to me is also knowing that this will happen and accepting the responsibility that comes along with it. That responsibility is to pick and choose what you’re going to let affect you and what you won’t.
One thing that we’re blessed with in life is the ability to choose. In my life today there are people that I choose to emulate. Not because I want to live their life, or because I want to be like them but because I want to better myself. I choose to emulate and be influenced by them because they have achieved or in the process of achieving something that I want or similar to something I aspire to get. That’s where I think the thin line is. In my emulation of these people I don’t do exactly what they do, I just see what they do, see how it applies to me, and then do something similar but not exactly the same thing. Something similar to this I think is reading those self help or motivational books that help you get rich, or be a better investor, or things of that nature If you read those books and do exactly what they say, my opinion is more often than not you’re going to be disappointed However, if you take the key points and ideas from then apply them to your endeavors, you’re more likely to see results.
I vs. Me
For me, being yourself does not include trying to be different also. I think trying hard to be different just solidifies the notion of not being yourself. I say this because an individual's effort to be different means they’re looking for a way to stand out by looking at what’s out there and doing the opposite.
I think to be yourself you have to look within. Dig deep. Find out what makes YOU happy. From activities, to that special someone, or even passions. Whatever it is you CHOOSE to do, do it because that is what YOU want to do it, not because you see someone else doing it or that’s the popular thing to. This doesn’t mean you can’t try something and like it and as a result keep doing it because it’s now something you like, but by the same token it doesn’t mean that you see someone doing something that you know is not good or wrong but you do it anyways because everyone is doing it. For example, someone asks me to join them for a round of golf and I've never played golf before. After trying it out it becomes I do from time to time when I get a chance because I enjoy the activity. Now contrast that with being asked to try some drugs. I clearly know it's not good for me, but I do it anyway because that's what the 'cool' or 'popular' thing to do is.
Simply put I think being yourself is the same thing as writing a research paper without plagiarising. When writing the research paper, it’s okay to use someone’s idea or an idea similar to someone elses, but where you get in trouble is when you don’t cite the sources from which you got said idea from. I think this is the same thing with being yourself. I think you are being yourself as long as you as an individual recognize that you’ve been influenced by certain people, both good and bad, but used that to formulate your own identity and are doing things your own way. This is what I think being yourself encompasses.
What do YOU think? Did I leave something out? Do you have different views?