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Be the Best You that You Can Be

The day I graduated from High School I walked away from the auditorium with a huge sense of accomplishment.  Not so much because I had a diploma in hand with academic honors, but that I had survived High School being me. Probably one of the greatest struggles of my life in terms of staying true to who I am took place in Middle School and High School.  It was worth fighting the battle back then because I think it may have helped me to gain some stronger "sense of self" muscles, if you will, that have sustained me during other times when the pressure was on to become either more than I am, or less than I am, or something other than I am.

A friend introduced me to a poem by e.e. cummings (1894-1962)  that has stuck with me over time:

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, day and night, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting."

I think in our culture we focus a lot of attention on being the best basketball player, or the best pianist, or the best designer with all of the attention being on the mastery of technical skills alone.  The status of "the best" at something will be achieved by a very select few, making it nearly an unattainable goal. There can be only one "the best" at something.

But the thing we can each be the best at is being who we are.   You alone hold the power to be the best you you can be.  No one else can do that for you.  The world needs you to be richly and authentically you if you want to leave a meaningful legacy.  And you need you to be richly and authentically you if you desire joy, purpose and meaning.

Be you today.  And be the best at it you can possibly be!

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