The following post is a guest contribution from someone from the MakeYourBestSelf community. His name is Thom Kelley, and he has been following MYBS since its creation at the beginning of the year. I have had the privilege to have frequent interaction and conversations with Thom as he has followed along and learned from my posts here on the site.
Thom contacted me a couple months back and mentioned that he wanted to create a guest post to share with the other readers on MYBS some of the wisdom he has picked up on his journey to a better self, so without any further delay, I give you: Simply Being, by Thom Kelley.
Many of us get caught up in our search for a newer and better self. We visit blogs, follow motivational social media accounts, read self-help books, and invest time and money in the quest for this ideal future person. We tell ourselves: If I just follow these ten easy steps. If I just read this series of works. If I follow the latest nutritional trends… We are constantly seeking a hidden path, never realizing that we’re already on a path that can take us exactly where we want to go. Our individual lives and realities find us on this path, headed in whichever direction based on each choice we make from moment to moment.
We often fail to realize that rather than attaining the peak of our best selves, or even heading in a self-perceived “right” direction, we instead spend much of our time in preparation for being that better self. We busy ourselves with lists, tasks, agendas and various other distractions, tricking our minds into believing that we are progressing.
Time out! I invite you to give your attention to a different possibility for just a moment. Slow down. Breathe. You’re already here! So now what?
Just be. You don’t have to wait to achieve the next level. In this very moment you can be your best self; one choice at a time can take you exactly where you want to go- to the peak of your own personal success. You’re not working on becoming your best self, like a character leveling up in a video game. You’re already capable of being your best self immediately. The key word is being.
Lose the weight. Start the company. Earn the degree. Get your house in order. Be a better parent. Whatever! Simply be better to yourself.
In each and every moment, choose deliberately. Avoid the instant gratification of foods that aren’t so great for you, but treat yourself once in a while as well. Work hard at tasks you value. Go the extra mile, but don’t forget the value of rest. Socialize and share in togetherness, yet find time to be yourself by yourself. It’s all about attention, intention and balance.
The philosopher Immanuel Kant believed that each person has autonomy of will, the ability to make choices based on reason. “The ‘will’, for Kant, is our ability to choose what we will do and the reasons on which we will act. As such, the will is at the core of who a person is and why the person behaves as he or she does” (Velasquez. 2014, p 483).
There will be setbacks on your path. Them’s the brakes, kids.
When you find that your choices have brought you up against obstacles or apparent dead ends, always remember to pause and continue to simply be. Stand up. Brush yourself off and keep on keeping on. If you’ve made one step forward and fallen three steps back, don’t stop! You already know what to expect on the next steps forward to get back to where you were. You’ve already been there. Move forward with knowledge gained and let a minor defeat become an ingredient in a recipe for success.
Velasquez, Manuel. Philosophy: A Text with Readings. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning distributor, 2014. Print
If you would like to share your wisdom with the readers of MYBS, feel free to send in your guest contributions to ShaneSorensen@MakeYourBestSelf.com, and please be sure to leave some comments for Thom below and let him know what you thought of his post!