I recently read a predictable but much overdone slogan which really is not all that original…it said “Dare to Be Yourself!”  I was fairly startled to say the least because to me it seems like that is precisely what most folks occupy their time with these days. A good portion of our society does nothing but live for self. People are simply consumed with self much of the time, so the thought that one should need to dare to be one’s self is a rather puzzling thought to me.

 

        Rick Warren’s book “ The Purpose Driven Life” was such a hit and second in sales only behind the Bible and one of the reasons for its smashing success is it was refreshing. The first sentence of the book is “It’s not about you…” and how true that statement is. Life and its meaning, the big picture of why we are here and our purpose has so little to do with just me or just you yet this is such a difficult concept for us to grasp.

 

        Think about it…if each and every person alive was preoccupied and consumed with daring to be themselves by focusing on their dreams, their desires, their abilites, and their thoughts and ideas, we would be living in an incredibly chaotic and uncooperative world , would we not? Thankfully, there are souls out there who have figured out that the joy of life is not bundled up in the blanket of being self absorbed. They have found the way to happiness is most often found in pouring yourself into others. Very few have discovered this truth but those who have experience so much more joy in their lives. Those who haven’t furiously chase after that ever elusive goal of being happy when in reality , happiness has always been, is now, and will forever be a result to be enjoyed, not a goal to be sought after. I recognize that our founding fathers penned the phrase “the pursuit of happiness” in the earliest days of our country, yet I have always felt that while their intentions were noble and correct, that their words were a bit off base. Happiness is a natural by product of NOT focusing on ourselves and our lives. It is not something that can be pursued. This is why many depressed folks are given wise counsel to go out to the nearest soup kitchen, or nursing home, or hospital and begin to give of themselves to others, because once they do, their own problems begin to fade away. They will begin to first, appreciate the blessings of their own lives as well as reap a real joy from investing in someone other than themselves.

 

        So the next time you read a slogan that taunts you to “dare to be yourself," instead, think another thought that will lift you out of yourself . Think “dare to realize it’s not all about you”. Aren’t you just sick of the self esteem, self realization, self consumed culture that we live in? I am! Let’s get our eyes off of ourselves and on to someone else. If we all could achieve that, we would be amazed. Lift up your eyes and look at others. Your life will change if you do!