“People who have a ‘problem’ (like Julia Child being 6’2”) it either kills them or they become defiant in the face of it. And that’s what her (Julia’s) personality led her to. She just said, ‘The hell with it!’ It’s a lesson. Sometimes we want to arrange things – I wish I had this, I wish I looked like this, I wish I’d got into this school. You know, we think that there is a formula, and actually the formula for happiness and success is just actually . . . be yourself in the most vivid possible way you can because then you don’t have to pretend. That is the freedom [Julia Child] enjoyed in her life and that is inspirational to me.”
-Meryl Streep on playing Julia Child in Julie & Julia
There are books, there are gurus, there are ‘experts’ on what the formula is to attain personal success and happiness. You may have sought out any one of these mediums, I know I most certainly have, but I must say I believe Meryl Streep is on to something.
While so many of us are fortunate enough to live in a world where possibilities seem endless and the potential to shape and mold our lives into what we desire is possible with more than just a little hard work, we sometimes become overwhelmed with all of the media and propaganda that is thrown at us telling us what we should be doing instead of looking inward to ourselves. So often, to avoid all of the confusion on how we should go about achieving success for ourselves, we choose to follow someone else’s path to success because, after all, if it worked for them, why wouldn’t work for us? And, while sometimes this may work, more often than not, we all will be required to go about it in a new and original way if we want to shine and that is where many people flounder.
The other difficult part in choosing to let your own light shine, whether it is your innate ability to pull an outfit together that instantly looks stunning, having observation skills like a detective or the ability to charm the socks off of just about anyone, you often will be met by resistance from those around you who have decided to follow a predetermined path made not by them, but by the society, culture or someone else in their life. And the truth of the matter is, subconsciously, they wish they had the strength and the courage to follow the light inside of them that has been dimmed for so long. For those people who are also eagerly chasing their unique path based on their natural given uniqueness, they will applaud, they will encourage, and they will not present obstacles. I mention this as a way to understand why others may respond the way they do when you choose to ‘let your freak flag fly’ and to help you not see their poor behavior as a reflection of you, because it isn’t.
So, today, think about the skills, quirks of your character, and unique qualities that have always been with you from childhood. Maybe people laughed, maybe people were in disbelief, hopefully many were impressed, but no matter how those around you responded, use it to your advantage. Be yourself. Be confident in knowing that this ‘gift’ truly is just that – a gift - and make the most of it.
Have a beautiful Monday everyone.
Need a few more thoughts on owning your uniqueness? Check out Uniquely Perfect.