That person. I want to be that person who is better! Are you who you want to be? Do you look in the mirror and wonder? If you ask others “Who do you want to be? They much of the time can’t define it right off, but it’s the “that” in “I want to be that person” that answers the question.
To be a better person is right there- usually found by looking at the quirks, the odd talents that were laughed at, ignored, or hid away during youth. You know that talent for pencil carving that wouldn’t make a great career. The philosopher who fell in love with Yoda who now is an accountant. That musician that now never touches their guitar again, the environmentalist that chained themself to a tree who now looks in the mirror and says, “I want to be that person.”
What does science say about being a better person? You either really want to be one, are one, or are afraid to be one. A tendency known as self–handicapping, is to self-sabotage your choices that prevents people from taking personal responsibility for outcomes. You’re basically setting up reasons to fail so that you are not blamed for the failure.
I remember times in my life when I self-sabotaged because I didn’t understand that who I was, was enough, I didn’t need to be better I needed to do better and expand on my talents. Like an artists will starve if he doesn’t find a way of selling his paintings. The talent to paint a picture is not enough. The ability to write a beautiful song can leave you hungry, and a writer makes no income as a self-published indie on the best sellers list, but those who expand talent find great success. For me as a writer, that meant selling courses. Cheers I did it and love it.
It’s just so easy to look around at the rest of the world and think that talent you have is not expandable. Others have it all figured out and you’re not enough. You tell yourself that you want to be that person who is better, and it can cause you to focus on things you don’t love, nor will ever be good at. We miss our own brilliance by interpreting the “be better” part as being someone else.
The reality is, “pencil carving” is not enough to sustain a life. Your friends, family and instinct are correct when evaluating your talents. The starving artist stories are real, but, there is always an avenue through that talent that can be your goldmine. So is that ridiculous talent you hide away enough? Yes, if you expand on it.
THE TALENT OF CARING
When I was young, I began to notice things about myself. I didn’t remember faces. My attention to detail near killed me when taking tests or reading any kind of instruction manual. If a statue, ten-foot-tall blocked my path, I might remember that, but details to things that many might see, I did not. I saw colors. The color a person might be wearing, the walls in a room meeting a person for the first time, floors, furniture, flowers in gardens. I saw people. Not faces, people. Their emotions stuck with me. Their voices remained in my mind for decades. It was an odd talent I had no clue about for a long time. Call it the the “pencil carving”, ignore that talent, as it’s useless. So I thought.
When I wanted to decorate my house, I didn’t need swatches they were fixed to memory. I’d look around and then go shopping with true colors right there in my mind, and usually, I got it right. I was always the one getting the comments after a gift, “Wow, how did you guess the right color, size, style, and so on.”
If I met you 20 years ago, there’s a great chance I’d remember what colors you wore and where we met to great detailed perfection. In other words, I rarely got it wrong. If you liked coffee with two cubes of sugar, I’d remember that as well. Or if you ate seabass over a bed of tomato coolie and sautéed spinach with pine nuts, and a touch cherry balsamic reduction. I’d remember to detail, able to cook that dish from the memory of smell, color, and texture. As well I remembered the mood; how you reacted as I was always wanting to help ease a person’s pain or celebrate a milestone. Were you happy or sad and why, what we talked about over the sea bass and so on.
But if you asked me to cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s in a contract, I’d fail miserably even reading it three times. Right there in front of me is says this or that, but I never see it. If you asked me the details concerning many things that come natural to most human beings, I’d fail and growing up I felt sad, worried and disconnected at times. My best friends were artists, lawyers, doctors, business owners, or restaurant workers as I became a chef first. A very good friend and waitress who was one of the smartest people I ever met told me one day that my talent was taking anything bad and making it good. I remember crying that day wondering if it was enough to live life wanting to be “that” person?
But now, as I’ve grown into an overwhelming busy and unsual life, I realize that what has made me who I am, and what led me to do the thing I love the most: to write stories, articles, and what I call The Memoirs of Color is why I have success today.
Be aware that to be who you are, is to be impractical, for purpose and imagination are not always seen as practical. The integrity of purpose, prevents enslavement to the ordinary. Don’t get me wrong, ordinary is great, but each of us has something that may appear ordinary but to us is not. That is the secret sauce to life’s satisfaction.
Sometimes I wonder why some of the most intelligent people I’ve known are not happy. They find success at every turn, yet that one thing they always wanted to do is still only on the bucket list.
Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know. —Ernest Hemingway
So, my useless talent to remember what you wore the first time we met two decades ago, might seem like a useless talent, but it is the success of my world, and when people ask me what is responsible for my success and happiness in this world as a writer, chef, psychology major, mom, or business owner, I say remembering the details to what mades others happy.
You want to be that person. You. Just you. For who you are is what you’ll always be and there is a reason for it. Find you by asking your ten year old self, who you want to be. That’s the person that will make everything you do in life worth it.
Often times I think of children with autism that separates them from the world. It’s almost as if they are free from the influence that robs us of who we are. Some disadvantaged children are some of the most beautiful in my eyes, they are who they are and sometimes excel in it like a superpower focus. It’s brilliant.