“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
― William Shakespeare, Hamlet
Sometimes we become pretenders. We pretend to be someone we are not. We pretend to be. This is different then imposter syndrome. This isn’t doing the work having success and then feeling like “wait, I am just winging it.” No this is memorizing lines, this is dressing like someone else, this is doing things unnatural to you. Pretending to be someone or something you are not. This is also different than going after the wrong goals. This is pretending to be.
For me, my aim is to be me all the time. That doesn’t mean that I talk to everyone the same. That doesn’t mean that I dress the same for every event or meeting. That doesn’t mean that I get to be selfish. What that means is I get to be me experiencing life as I am. Not as my religion, not as my political view, not as an artist, not as a writer, but as a person. A person who wants to connect with others, a person who wants good things and wants the same for others. I picked up a running mantra that gets me through hard runs, and sometimes stress full moments; I am awareness. That is what I become, I watch everything and become and outside, inside observer, I am me.
What it means to “be you” is up to you. It is up to each of us. For me being is full of creativity and making work that matters. It means the work I push to do makes me more of who I am. It means that the good I leave behind echoes and hopefully leaves a legacy.
There are times I feel like I am being false. Not to me, but from an outside perspective, like someone might think, “who is this guy, what a load of shit, talk about fake.” What they don’t see is I am not set in stone and I am like water. I change my speaking tone, my vernacular, and conversations to connect. I would never force a conversation on anyone but I would engage them on subjects they care about. I adapt and connect.
At the end of the day I am never exhausted trying to be something I am not. As a leader, as a creative, as an artist, writer, dancer, doctor, musician, and artisan or worker of any trade; the best thing you can do is be you. Don’t pretend, don’t fake being someone else, don’t fall into a false persona because the world is used to stereotypes. Don’t give up who you are for someone’s false image of you. Chest out, head up, walk tall, you have a life to live and the only way to see everything is by looking forward. I love you, happy Friday the 13th, be safe and enjoy the weekend.