Submitted by Tech
What is your earliest memory? Is it from a time that brings a smile to your face or one that wrinkles your brow? My earliest memory is of me riding my bike. I had just recently learned the art of balancing on two wheels and was attempting to see just how far I could push the envelope regarding the laws of physics. We all know that, depending on speed and the angle of approach, the turning radius of a bike can only be so small. Well there I was, out in the street in front of our house pedaling faster and faster while riding in an ever-shrinking circle. At first it was exhilarating! The faster I went and the smaller the circle became the greater the sensation of inertia. I was having quite the exciting experience! But then, the laws of physics caught up with me. In this case, the law in question was the one involving what happens when a moving object comes in contact with one that is immovable. Picture this: I’m riding in a counter-clockwise circle that is decreasing in size while completely unaware that with each down stroke of the pedal beneath my left foot I am coming dangerously closer to making contact with the pavement. Well, the inevitable happened. I’ll spare you the gory details but it involves bare feet, a crashed bicycle and a lot of crying. I learned a valuable lesson that day: If you are going to do something stupid, make sure you have put some thought into it to minimize the negative result! LOL!
That story always reminds me of my youth in general and how I had to experience certain events in order to appreciate and learn how life operates. At the time of that incident, it seemed as if life was trying to crush me and my idea of a good time. But looking back on it I find that everything I experienced in my youth helped prepare me for life beyond that so-called innocent time. That same principle applies to our lives as we grow older. That is, as long as we remember the lessons from the past then we can choose to learn from them and gain the wisdom that they provide.
This principle works in all aspects of our lives including our work environment. It is easy to just live day by day and never look back on what has transpired on the job. We tend to muddle through our existence and not think much about how the past, the things that happened yesterday, can be a great teaching tool for us today and for tomorrow. We should remember to remember. We should take those experiences and build a picture of what our world looks like and ask ourselves if it reflects what we want it to be. Does it say something positive or negative about our lives? Does it reveal a person who is growing in wisdom regarding their responsibilities or someone who continues to blunder through the day not recognizing that yesterday’s mistakes should not have been repeated today?
We should also apply that principle to our social life. We are human after all and hard wired to be social creatures. Whether we like it or not we are destined to interact with our fellow humans. Professionally, we tend to “act” better around others because it is expected behavior. However, when we are away from work we can get caught up in a “different” act. Act? Yes act. Acting is how we behave when we are trying to be someone we are not. We’ve all been there. It started when we were toddlers. We learned at an early age that those around us could be manipulated by the way we behaved and “acted”. Now I realize that to some this might sound a bit far-fetched but it is true that most people can be tricked into seeing us in a different light simply by what we show them in our behavior. This is a dangerous habit to get into because it is not only morally and ethically wrong but it is also impossible to keep up the multitude of “acts” that we try to play. So, if we can just remember that we are who we are and as long as we are honest about it we will find that the games and acts are not necessary.
The real reason this principle is so important is that the quality and success of our personal life is dependent on it. Our family, friends and loved ones want the “real” us, not some act. There is nothing so disturbing as to find out that someone close to us is not the person we thought them to be and in fact has been living a lie, a false identity. I’m not talking about a stolen identity, although that seems to more common today, but I’m talking about someone who portrays themselves as a certain type of person when in reality they are not that person. So, remember that the damage that can occur in “acting” can come back to haunt us. We not only hurt those around us but limit our opportunity to find and enjoy quality relationships for our own lives. Relax. Be yourself! You’ll find that people will be drawn to you because of who you are, not who you pretend to be.