I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble
Helen Keller

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InspirEmail No 185 - July 5, 2010 - A Person of Worth
'Inspirational messages to refresh the spirit and boost the emotional bank account'

A Person of Worth

You come into the world with unique potential. I call that person your true inner self, the person who is always there, looking out at the world through your eyes. If you could spend your life doing your own thing, freely expressing your natural talents and passions, who knows what potential you could achieve?

Most of us crave the company of like-minded others. To do so, it simply isn't possible to just be your true self. To get along with other people you need to create different personae, according to each situation. You are taught that the way to impress people is to mirror them as much as possible.  So you develop an outer, public self, an actor, who wears different masks, acting out roles that suit the myriad of situations you face daily.
 
You still want to allow your real self to enjoy life. But you also have to face the need to meet others' expectations of you, and therein lies a problem. Whatís the right mix (or balance, if you will) of meeting:

  • the wishes of your true inner self, and
  • other's expectations of you?

Some years ago my life's experiences gave me a vital lesson in finding the answer. 

Things were going very wrong for me. I was trying to meet expectations placed on me by a number of people who were heavily influencing my life, expectations against which the inner me was fighting a losing battle. In reality of course I was pleasing nobody, least of all myself. The effect was a gradual erosion of my self-esteem and self-confidence to a point where they became virtually non-existent.

I had allowed my natural inner self to be totally suppressed, by my outer self and by various other people who at the time seemed vital to my life's success. They were telling me, in effect, 'donít do what you want to do . . . come over here and do what I want you to do'.

They say the darkest time of day is just before the dawn. Isn't it amazing how true that is of life? A small voice in my darkest hours was calling to me, in the form of a close friend asking me to join a choir. I loved singing and they wanted me in the tenors. But I was feeling deeply sorry for myself and said no. The requests continued to come and the answer continued to be no. Finally I gave in and said yes. Perhaps, I thought, a couple of hours of rehearsal each week would take my mind off my problems for a while.

When the choir welcomed me with genuine applause, a candle flickered within me. With encouraging comments on my singing and a growing sense of belonging, the flicker became a soft, steady glow. With each rehearsal, its brightness increased. I could feel the world embracing me again. Before long, the light was shining like a beacon, once again guiding my inner thoughts, revitalizing the inner me, increasing my self esteem and rebuilding my self confidence. It didnít stop at the end of choir rehearsals. My newfound enthusiasm was rippling through the rest of my week into everything I was thinking and doing.

These events didn't free my passion for singing. It was my passion for singing that freed the real me that I had for too long allowed to be imprisoned by otherís expectations. Needless to say, the first decision of my true self was to dismiss these people from my life  . . . and it felt great!

The passionate person I am today owes a great deal to these events and especially to that friend who insistently called to me during those dark days.

Of course the realities of modern living force you to accept the fact that others will have expectations of you that might not sit naturally with your inner feelings - and this is not always a bad thing. There has to be a balance though. True life balance isnít about managing your work and personal life responsibilities. Nor is it even about work and leisure. Itís actually about getting the mix right of meeting the needs of your inner self and the expectations others have of you. The mix has to be such that your true, inner self stays in charge of your big decisions in life.

In essence, itís about getting the right mix of 'time for you' and 'time for me'.

Written by Peter Nicholls

Peter is a life style mentor who lives in the beautiful city of Adelaide in Australia. He is a Director of Work Leisure and is known as Australiaís People Gardener - Growing Better People at work, home and play. Peter helps you improve the quality of work productivity, manage stress and your plans for retirement and the future. He is the author of a number of e-books including 'Enjoy Being You' and 'How to Create Your Second Adulthood'. For Peter's contact details and to purchase his books please visit . . . Positive Inspirational Links >>>



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