“The history of every day– What is the history of every day in your case? Look at your habits that constitute it: are they the product of innumerable little cowardices and laziness or of your courage and inventive reason?”
Nietzsche – The Gay Science
Are you the person you think you are?
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine YOU. The YOU with all your hopes, dreams, talents, and other wonderful qualities which make you unique.
Now look in the mirror. Look at the REAL YOU. Are you the same person you see when you close your eyes? If so, congratulations. This post isn’t for you.
If you’re like me, the two images bear strikingly little resemblance to one another.
The Ideal Me that I see in my mind’s eye is a successful author who is a great father and husband, works out, is in good shape, is neat and organized, motivated, and has an easygoing and carefree personality. That is how I see myself.
However, the real me is quite a bit different. I struggle at being either a great father or husband, I’ve yet to complete any of my novels, I get moody, I’m lazy (despite being a workaholic), I’m unorganized, and I’m impatient and easily annoyed. The real me would oftentimes rather be left alone than have to deal with other people. I’m like some twisted doppelganger of my intended self.
I am not who I want to be.
I’ve always told myself that there’s always time to become that person. I’ll lose weight, I’ll write those books, I’ll get organized. I’ll learn to enjoy things more. I’ve taken small steps towards those goals in recent months, however there is still so much to do.
And while I’ve always thought that there’s plenty of time to become the Ideal Me, that’s not true.
We are all given a finite amount of time on this planet. Too many of us squander that time and are never really the person we were meant to be. Eventually, you run out of time, things are left undone, and the person standing there isn’t YOU, but merely a person borne of cowardices, laziness or perhaps just delusion.
Too often, people like this come to loathe themselves. They cannot face who they’ve become, so they lash out at others. (I am not referring to myself here, but others I’ve seen this happen to).
The quote which tops this post is perhaps one of the most direct questions one can ask themselves – what is the history of your day?
Are you the person you see when you close your eyes?
If not, the more important question is – how will you rewrite your history?
(photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/striatic/1274047)