As children, we all look up to someone. No matter real or imaginary we consciously aspire to be like someone who, from our perspective, is larger than life. Unfortunately, actually becoming like that person is often something that we will never accomplish.
Because in many situations the person children aspire to be is not real. As a child, you may have wanted to be like Superman, Spider-man, Ironman, Princess Elsa, Snow White, or Alice (in Wonderland). As we grow we learn that our chances of acquiring super powers, becoming a billionaire engineer with a flying suit, being a princess that lives in a castle, or traveling to a magical kingdom are not very realistic. Once we are confronted with this reality we begin to set our sights a little closer to real life, and start to select new role models to look up to. Role models that are more human. But in many instances, the people we choose to look up to are still considerably beyond our actual ability to be just like them. ("Like Mike", anyone?). We dream that one day we will grow up to be just be like that person and everything in our lives will be amazing.
The older we become the more life shows us its harsh reality, that we may never live up to our perfect perception of our childhood role models. In most cases this has more to do with the fact that our newly selected role models are human and flawed. That they have often made mistakes, and their life is not always the fairy tale that we had assumed it to be. And yet, we continue to strive each day to be more and more like our role model. Sometimes even creating a grandiose idea, a Build-A-Bear role model, by picking from the best attributes of several people. Although, at what point in life does the desire to be like someone else stop? When does the person who you aspire to become, become yourself?
The desire to be seen as equal to anyone other than yourself by default, means that the person or persons whom you seek to be equal with will become the standard by which you will be judged and how you will also judge yourself. In addition, this gives other people the perception that they now have the right to compare you to their ideas of who the person you aspire to be just like, truly is. In doing this they will connect you to every one of that persons successes and also their failures. Often times, in doing this you unintentionally giving the authority to determine your equality or lack of equality to people who, in most cases, do not even know your role model beyond the public perception that person projects through social media. Potentially forfeiting the right to define the meaning of what it means to be you.
Instead of constantly searching for a standard by which to compare yourself, what would happen if you became the standard? What if your daily search, was for simple ways that you could become a better version of yourself? Your success and failure would no longer be directly compared to an idea or projection of who someone else is, but to the ever present reality of who you are. This does not mean that you can no longer admire and aspire to mimic the best parts of someone else. Exactly the opposite; part of becoming a better person is searching for the best in others even when they do not see it themselves. This includes frequently searching for and recognizing the best parts of who you are. It is no longer your goal to simply fix the broken, flawed, and uncomfortable parts of who you are but to also continue to improve the areas where you already excel. Aspire to become the standard by which you judge yourself each day. Only comparing the version of who you are today to the version of you were yesterday.
Who knows, maybe the best version of you is better than the dreams you had as a child. Maybe your real life is better than you could ever imagine, if you stopped focusing on everyone else long enough to see the fact that you still have breath in your body, appreciate the fact that when tomorrow begins many will not be blessed with the same, which could be more than enough to inspire you to change, improve, correct, or adjust anything you may have found as a negative in your life yesterday. Maybe the best version of you is exactly what the world needs today. Because the best version of you is already someone’s superhero, the best version of you is currently the standard others use to set their goals and aspirations.
Arise and take the time today to admire and evaluate yourself, and aspire to become the change, become the standard that you and the world so desperately seek.
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