One can only imagine how genuine the words felt to Oscar Wilde when he penned the expression, “Be Yourself, Everybody Else is Already Taken.” I wasn’t even sure myself until I stumbled upon the quote, laughed at its honest humor and researched the Irish writer’s background to understand what he meant. Wilde was an intelligent, once privileged and highly educated playwright who suffered greatly for opinions and choices that were outside of London society, eventually leading to his imprisonment, poverty and an early death.
No one strives to live a life in exile. Adversity comes at us every day in rapid fire as we dodge and take shelter from its surge. How we handle adversity evolves in many forms. Some start by avoiding with denial. Then they survive just to get by often burying themselves in long work hours, rejection, backstabbing or drudgery. They cope with useful mechanisms such as exercise and communication and sometimes with the negative influences of vices. They manage by setting goals to be productive but still are void of satisfaction. And eventually, they hope to achieve the ability to elevate them to true contentment and do the same for others. But how they get there remains the dilemma that can keep them imprisoned from all that they desire – peace and fulfillment.
Your key to success is really very simple. Just be yourself. Be authentic. If something feels uncomfortable take notice. Don’t grasp at shiny objects. Don’t withdraw in defeat. Trust your gut. Follow your heart. Play to your strengths and what feels right. Take one step today that aligns with your values. There in lies your direction.