Becoming Who You Are

Your most important task is to develop the life that you have been given. You have this fantastic opportunity to live a life. The questions are…

 What are you going to do with your life?

How will you utilize your skills and interests?

How will you use your life to improve the lives of others?

These are questions that each of us must answer one way or another. You have two basic choices in this regard. You can give some careful thought to the person you were intended to be. Or, you can give little thought to your personal qualities, simply go along with the general flow of things and let the world shape you however it would like.

As you think about your personal possibilities, it is important to note that your life comes to you pre-loaded in certain ways. You have unique personal qualities, interests and feelings that are pre-existing. If identified and developed, these qualities will, in effect, shape your life in special ways. Interestingly, it’s never too late in life to start this identification and development process.

The choice to be who you are frees you from the stress of being what “the world” wants you to be.  When you make the choice to be who you are, you are no longer controlled by the expectations of others or by the task of making yourself acceptable to everyone around you. With this choice, you transfer the responsibility for your life’s outcome from the people around you to yourself. A bit scary, maybe, but it’s now your life and the ultimate result is up to you.

Getting in touch with your inner self and finding your own personal sense of direction is difficult in today’s world. Most of us have many possibilities concerning our activities, our friends and what we can do with our life. To identify and select the right path for you requires some hard work, thoughtful evaluations of yourself and effective choices.

Is all of this work worth it? If it’s important to you to know that you’ve fashioned a life of your own making and not simply a copy of those around you, the answer is…yes. If it’s important to you to know that you have enhanced your life and the lives of others with the interests and skills that have been given to you, the answer is…most definitely. Your life was given to you for free, it’s what you choose to do with that life that determines its value to you…and to others.

When Akiba was on his death bed, he bemoaned to his rabbi that he felt he was a failure. His rabbi moved closer and asked why. Akiba confessed that he had not lived a life like Moses. He began to cry, admitting that he feared God’s judgment. At this, the rabbi leaned into his ear and whispered, “God will not judge Akiba from not being Moses. God will judge Akiba for not being Akiba.”

From the Talmud