Being Yourself

“Who do you want to be like when you grow up?”. I can’t remember how many times my relatives asked me when I was growing up. Everyone seemed to have an answer to that question so I would unconvincingly say Sachin Tendulkar ( Indian cricket legend) which seemed to be the easiest one to chose for me given my interest in the sport. The seed is sown from very early on that we have to be like somebody else. As we grow up, this tendency accentuates and we find ourselves day dreaming about the people who we want to be like. We even put posters of them in our rooms, phones, laptops and they make their way into our subconscious minds that drives more than 80% of our decision making.

There is nothing wrong about having idols and appreciating them and their achievements. But it need not be the dominant factor or thought process for your life. The dominant factor should be your own unique factor, your own identity, your own brand, what you believe in, are passionate about and care for. You create your own flavor of your life and maybe borrow a little bit from your idols. It makes for a much more authentic, happy and joyful life.

I heard in a podcast about Kanye West few weeks ago. Apparently, if you go to his house, you see posters of himself and not of any other idol or celebrity. When the visitor asked why he does that he said, “ I gotta cheer for myself first, I gotta be my biggest fan.” I find this both amusing and logical. There is sense in being your own cheerleader, in a world where most of us have fears and insecurities. As Kamal Ravikant’s book title goes , “Love yourself as your life depends on it.” Why not?