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Striving for Your Personal Best?

Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors

Striving for Your Personal Best?

First discover who you really are.
Jeff  Johnson
Jeff Johnson More by this author
Oct 08, 2009 at 10:00 AM

Too often in life, we fail to become the person we were meant to be because we’re focused on the person we’re supposed to be. Today, I see scores of people riding on the same merry-go-round. It’s not surprising. Most people are conditioned from birth to be the person someone else has told them they should become. This can be both positive and negative. I know a young boy demonized by his single mother for no other reason than because the little boy reminds her of the man who left her. The son is destined to carry the weight of a man he may have never known. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the boy whose father is a business mogul, a man who has ripped through corporate America to amass great wealth. The son finds himself trapped when he’s forced to major in business despite his love of music because so many folks expect him to be his father. He, like many of us, has been encouraged or forced to take a journey that was never his to begin with. The problem is that this reality also makes taking his own journey very difficult.

Often people are incapable of taking a trip because they’re weighed down by too much baggage. Similarly, it can be daunting to strike out on one’s own, particularly when a family business or profession beckons with its safety, familiarity, and security. (Trust me. I know all too well what this is like.) Throughout your journey, you’ll face hard questions, questions you must answer for yourself, about yourself.

You are not your parents. You don’t have to go into the family business to succeed—or become a doctor or lawyer just because your parents want “the best” for you. It’s okay to pursue your best on your own terms. It’s even possible to do it without burning family bridges in the process. Just remember, on the road to your personal best, you can’t be successful if you’re living out other people’s expectations and continually trying to become their best instead of your best.

It’s time to declare your own personal independence. Consider it your own personal Bill of Rights. That’s right. I’m granting you permission not just to break out of the prison you’ve created for yourself, but also the prison your family and friends might have unintentionally created for you.

Before you can declare your independence and achieve your personal best, you must first go through the process of realizing everything that you’re not. Only then can you become everything you are. To do this you must make three major (emancipation) proclamations.

I Am Not My Parents.

I Am Not My Friends.

I Am Not My Past.

It seems obvious: you can’t be who your parents, family, and friends think you should be. However, it’s not as simple as it sounds. As you recite these proclamations to declare your independence, it’s essential that you begin to consider carefully the false identity that has you struggling to reach someone else’s best instead of your own.

About Author
Jeff  Johnson
Jeff Johnson is the host of BET’s The Truth with Jeff Johnson, and a weekly commentator on the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show. Johnson’s interviews truly “represent” 21st-century America—showcasing grass-roots organizers Continue reading