Be Yourself

Look within to find your truth



Next to knowing yourself is to be yourself. It is a sound advice and not a fashionable statement.  It is about getting to know yourself, understanding, accepting and respecting your likes and dislikes, your preferences and aversions and ultimately your true being. Being yourself is not about expressing your individuality to the world or being different from others. In fact it has very little to do with others. It is about you and you alone.
It is about knowing your good and bad tastes, what serves you and what does not and what you choose consciously. Conscious choosing is not easy. Our choices are influenced by social pressures, lifelong conditioning, religious dogmas or even habits. Conscious choosing requires tremendous courage to face yourself and others and heed your instincts which may be contrary to other people’s expectation of you. Let me explain. Suppose you are born in the family of doctors. Your mother, father, siblings uncles, are – or were—doctors. Your parents expect that you too will grow up to be a doctor, because that is the way it is in your family. Nevertheless you find that you are drawn towards a creative art, say music. You love playing the guitar and want to become a professional guitarist. You do not even consider it seriously and nip the desire in the bud because your family and the society have reinforced the belief that music is okay as a hobby and you will not do well or be happy if you make it your profession. In this context, being yourself and choosing consciously mean that you understand and acknowledge the views of your parents and others, but resolve to find out for yourself if your truth is the same as theirs. If you find that it is not, you choose to disagree with them, and then find and follow your truth.
Just because your family members, leaders and mass media appear to endorse a viewpoint does not mean you must too. Your truth is what resonates within you and what you have experienced yourself. Admiring something or someone is natural. To admire is to have high opinion of others. There is nothing wrong with that. It is imperative for us to acknowledge that talents differ from one individual to another, so do abilities that we are all specially gifted with. Why we are tempted to give up our individuality? The topmost reason is fear. Being you is certainly not for the timid who place the approval of others above their own instincts. The trouble lies in never thinking about what you really could be, your wants and desires. In this context being you is a risky proportion and most of us feel it is better to tread the path that has worked for everyone else. But the problem is that we may not get a new map, a new chapter, and we may not be able to make a new beginning.

(Dr. Mushtaq Chalkoo is Consultant Laparo-endoscopic and minimal access surgeon at GMC, Srinagar. Feedback at        

Lastupdate on : Fri, 26 Oct 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 26 Oct 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 27 Oct 2012 00:00:00 IST

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