Becoming the Perfect Version of Yourself

2 Wednesdays ago at a class, we discussed developing each of our own unique talents and becoming who we have the potential to be.  Haven’t seen the movie Limitless with Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro, but a line in the trailer sums it up nicely: “How many of us knows what it’s like to become the perfect version of ourselves?”

I think most of us, in one way or another, pursue that perfect version of ourselves whether with our hobbies or career. As we talked about talents, lots of people felt they didn’t have any and devalued themselves. Two things came up.

  1. Shameless steal from a BNET article: “Take Mozart.  Everyone knows the musical prodigy Mozart, composing and performing by the age of six.  Less well known is the Mozart who put in thousands and thousands of hours of focused practice starting at age three.  His genius lay not just in talent but also in effort.  Talent took him far; hard work and focused practice took him a lot farther.” (article: How to Master Any Skill, No Talent Required)
  2. more importantly, NATURAL GIFTS and TALENTS ARE NOT JUST ACCOMPLISHMENTS OR STATS YOU CAN KEEP TRACK OF!  Marvel Comics may disagree, but the instructor pointed out that gifts such as being able to cry together, laugh together, and compassion are huge talents!  Why are those talents?  Yes, most people can do them, but haven’t you known that one friend to turn to, or that one sibling or cousin that makes everything seem alright?  Why don’t you turn to someone else?  Because they have a special gift.  And there are tons of other talents, most of which is what makes us “human,” that any one of us has.  Maybe you just didn’t try to develop it because it wasn’t rewarded academically or career wise.

Like I said in my last post, a person’s mind is strong, but it’s also a wuss and you can scare yourself out of a lot of things sometimes without knowing it.  Just because some qualities aren’t immediately or monetarily rewarded you pursue other things and don’t improve on your talent.

Can you think of any for yourself?  Please share in the comments below.

If you look around, there are people successful, writing books, and making lots of money at speaking engagements that you won’t ever get to choose for a major.  You think to yourself, “that person’s a joke.  I’m much better at that.”  That’s probably true, but why aren’t you the one being published or speaking to thousands?

Part of my answer is: all of us probably have many gifted talents, many of which you’re not aware of or even see as a gift.  Through “life experiences,” opportunities both taken and missed, we get to grow, but you have to be aware of yourself enough to reflect on what “more” you are today than yesterday.  High school and college kids think that they must plan out their lives with an application, degree, and career, but then you realize life is nonlinear.

You and your gifts are nonlinear too.  Nonlinear’s more like nonlogical.  Just because you do A and B, doesn’t mean you’ll become or achieve C.  But that usually means through each experience, each trial, and each lesson, ingredients in your head meshes together and forms a key to unlock other parts of yourself you didn’t know before.

You’re never quite sure which part of yourself you’ll unlock with the new parts of yourself, but if you don’t look for it and walk through those doors, you may never find your batcave where all the supertoys are hidden.  And to be honest, I think we have a bunch of these “perfect versions of ourselves” we can be at each stage of our lives.  You can be a great kid, a great student, a great friend, great cook, and they can all combine like some Japanese cartoon robot and form something else that’s pretty awesome.

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