“Be yourself; no base imitator of another, but your best self.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
There’s a great quote by essayist and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Be yourself; no base imitator of another, but your best self. There is something which you can do better than another. Listen to the inward voice and bravely obey that. Do the things at which you are great, not what you were never made for.” The message in these words is that to be your best self and to live your best life, you need to do what you want to do, not what you feel you should do or what someone else wants you to do.
Being Your Best Self
History is full of stories of individuals who chose not to follow the path others had planned for them and to follow their passion instead. Ralph Waldo Emerson himself chose to follow his own path after realising that following his father’s footsteps into life as a clergyman was not being his best self.
Florence Nightingale – defying the expectations of Victorian society, Florence refused to settle for a life as a wife and mother, choosing to follow her passion and train as a nurse.
Winston Churchill – Churchill grew up with a passion for politics, but his father chose a military path for him, believing him unsuited to a career in politics. He did as his father wanted, but his passion never left him and led him all the way to 10 Downing Street.
“Follow your passion. Be true to yourself. Never follow anyone else’s path, unless you’re lost in the woods and you see a path. Then by all means you should follow that.” – Ellen DeGeneres
Choose Your Path
People who succeed in life know who they are, not who someone else wants them to be. They recognise that the things they feel most passionate about in life are the things that will inspire their success. Successful and happy people do what they love and love what they do, and they are committed to doing what they do to the best of their ability.
Want to do is infinitely more powerful than should do or have to do, but achieving a dream takes commitment. To be able to truly commit to giving everything you do your best shot, you must be absolutely certain that what you think you want to achieve is what you really want to achieve.
What is it that you can do better than another? What lights your fire? Are you doing what you feel really inspired to do, or have you settled for a life doing what you were never made for? Take Ralph Waldo Emerson’s advice: “Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.”
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