Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Being True to Yourself

We live in a world where most people conduct their lives by following the leader. In fact, too often corrupt behavior is justified in an individual’s mind because they saw someone else do it.

For example, Richard Nixon stated emphatically, ‘I am not a crook.’ In fact, however, he had engaged in wrong doing. Some psychologists believe children who were around 10 years old during Watergate were influenced. Perhaps many of those 10 year olds are making decisions on Wall Street now. Bill Clinton said, ‘I did not have sexual relations with that woman’. We all know how that turned out. What will happen to the people who were 10 at that time?

These are men with tremendous power and influence. Yet, we let them off the hook by saying human folly. By excusing them, we let ourselves off the hook for living a life with integrity. We justify it by saying it’s only human to make mistakes. There is a difference between mistakes and lying.

People should be asking themselves, ‘who do I want to be?’ and ‘how do I want to be seen.’ The answers to those questions can give you insight into what it means to be true to yourself.

Are you deviating from who you want to be because you saw a leader get away with an act that lacked integrity? Another person’s action has no importance to who you would like to be. If you refuse to take a stand for being who you say you are, you could end up lost. For most people, that usually turns out to be something psychologists call repeating your childhood. That means the lessons you learned by observing your parents’ behavior becomes the only logical example for you to follow. Whatever path your parents went down, you are sure to follow if you do not stand for your own future.

Sure, everyone knows this. Yet, most people repeat their childhood. By the time they realize it, they may feel helpless to do anything about it. Then they use the leaders’ bad behavior to reinforce and justify their own lack of integrity.

In no way am I stating that anyone’s parents are bad. I am simply stating that, for the most part, your life does not belong to you. You model your life from a long list of examples. Your parents were just one of the first human beings to teach you about life. What you learned from them had very little to do with what they told you. It had everything to do with how they lived their lives. You followed the example because, as a child, you trusted they knew what they were doing.

Well, it’s time to stop blaming leaders and your parents for bad behavior. Take a stand for the life you would like to live and take actions to ensure that the life you want becomes a reality. If you are committed to being the person you say you would like to be, your actions will be a correlate of who you are being. If you let others tell you who you should be, you will always be someone you are not. As a result, there is a chance your life will always feel like there is something missing. And there will be something missing: You. Be true to you and life will reward you. 

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