April 8, 2019
From the Jack’s Winning Words blog cones this bit of advice from Ice Cube – “I think, to me, reality is better than being fake.”
At first I thought that the word “fake” might be a little too harsh when talking about people; but, then I considered that it really just means trying to be something that you aren’t. Who hasn’t tried that at some point on our lives? In my youth, we all tried to be “cool”. In those ancient times, being cool was associated with the “beat generation” and role models in Hollywood included James Dean, Sal Mineo and Natalie Wood. Being cool meant combing a duck-tail into your hair and wearing jeans and black leather. It was all just fake and we weren’t really cool; but, most of us tried anyway.
Today’s society in America is much less homogeneous than it was back then (and that’s a good thing), so the roles models that today’s kids are faking it to try to emulate are all over the place. Each generation adopts its own set of role models and goes through its own phase of faking it. It’s part of the journey through childhood. Eventually, almost everyone accepts the reality of who they are and makes the best of it.
It is a key to happiness in life that you stop faking it and accept and get comfortable with who you are – that you “get real” as Dr. Phil would say. I’ve posted here a few times about loving yourself before you can love others – see this post on starting your day off right. A part of getting right with yourself is getting right with God. You can’t really fake it when talking with God. You know that He knows. So, instead of asking God to “let me be like him (or her), ask instead that God help you accept yourself as you are and for His help to make the best of that – “help me be the best me that I can be”. That is the premise of the self-help advice in the 1967 book, “I’m OK, You’re OK”, by Thomas Harris. The gist of that book and the training that was built upon it is understanding and accepting where you are coming from and being comfortable with that when you interact with others.
So, instead of being fake today; be yourself and be OK with that. Accept yourself first and you will find that others accept you, too. Rather than waste your time and energy on trying to be something or someone that you aren’t; put that energy into being the best you that you can be. You will be pleasantly surprised how many other people like that you, too.
Have a great and real day and week ahead.
December 19, 2016
If you Google the little phrase “Happy to be me”, you’ll discover that there are a number of videos from Sesame Street skits to pop songs that all have that same title and theme. The string that runs through them all is that you should be happy to be the person that you are and not try to be someone else.
Sometimes it’s hard to be happy being with yourself, especially in the formative years when you may not be real sure who that is anyway. Children take cues from all around themselves as they grow and learn and try to find their identities. Sometimes they are not happy with their circumstances and who they think they are, especially as compared to others whom they think they would like to be like. They get hung up on how they look for dress or act in public and who they hang out with (or are not invited to hang out with). It’s hard to be happy with yourself if you don’t see yourself as being “cool” or being a member of the “in-crowd”. I posted here about that in a blog Trying to be Cool Isn’t Cool.
Sometime those who were rejected by one “in-crowd” form their own alternative groups. That phenomenon is seen a lot during the middle and high school age years. Those are still very chaotic years in the search for one’s identity and some since of comfort with who you are. There tends to be a false sense of security in being a member of some group during that time in our lives. Being in those groups is like being a fish that is swimming in sync with a large school of fish. One can look around and feel a sense of security and belonging that feels good. Just go with the flow and everything will be alright. You’ll be cool.
Some never really outgrown that need to be identified within some group context and many of those people never really get comfortable with themselves as individuals. Most, however, at some point after high school develop a sense of understanding and comfort with who they are and move on with life without depending upon the approval of a group to bring happiness. They discover that they are “happy to be me”. We tend to identify people who are at that stage in life as being self-confident. People who have not yet arrived at that level of self-aware comfort with themselves are sometimes be said to be “phony’ or perhaps “fake”.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be better. In fact you may wish to start each day with a little prayer that says, “God help me be the best me that I can be today.” That isn’t asking God to change you, only that He allow you to remain focused upon being as good of a you as you can be and not get distracted by desires to be something or someone else.
I wrote a while back on this topic with a post called Just be you. Be happy with who you are and ask for God’s help to be the best you that you can be. The rest of life will take care of itself, if you get right with yourself first. Have a great week just being the best you that you can be.