The Journey to Self

As the second round of debates concluded, the headlines were writing themselves with a variation of the same title “Barack’s Back”. I felt the story-hungry 24-hour news corps completely overreacted to the first debate earlier this month, but nonetheless this debate did indeed seem to be the “charm” for the President. According to his surrogates he became “more of himself” in this week’s showing.

All of the commentary regarding the President’s personality and debate style got me thinking, how much of our true selves do we show on a daily basis and how much do we “act” our way through our lives?

We all have those days when we aren’t feeling like ourselves. For some it’s an illness that dims our bright stars and for others it’s a bad mood, but when we find that these moments or a few days turn into the norm, it’s time to check our inner compass and find our way back to ourselves.

Just recently I had the incredible fortune to travel half way around the world to visit my wonderful sister who is living in Hanoi, Vietnam.  For years my sister had been working as a teacher in the States.  Like many teachers the pay was barely enough to pay her rent let alone extracurricular fun like the occasional night out. She was miserable. She was tired of existing check to check and not really living her life.  So, instead of dropping anchor like so many do and just “dealing” with her lot in life she decided to take a leap into the life she truly wanted—the life of an Expat—teaching and traveling the globe.

Visiting my sister brought me tremendous joy because I could see that she had truly become more of herself.  She had decided to stop acting like she was happy and journey (half way around the world) to her true self.

Sure, not everyone’s self exploration will take them thousands of miles away, but it should move you, from where you are to where you want to be. When we pretend that we are happy and moving with the flow we deny ourselves the ability to live our purpose and express our passion.

Faking it doesn’t always help us make it.

Like the President, sometimes we need to take a step back and evaluate what is and isn’t working. Do you dread going into work? When the phone rings are you hoping it’s not your S.O. on the other line? Do you feel stuck?  If so, it’s time to take that much needed journey—to find what you are missing.  Whether it’s picking up a blank notebook and jotting down your thoughts or traveling around the world (or across town), it’s time to tap into you.

Acting is great if you want to be on camera, but life isn’t a movie and you deserve more than a make-pretend existence.