staying true to yourself in 2019
I recently put down the book A man of the people by the great Chinua Achebe, and one of the characters that stood out for me was one Max Kulamo. A vibrant young lawyer in the fictional city of Biro. For context, the events of the book happen in post independent Africa where their country, seven years after independence from British colonial rule, is suffering from run away corruption and the government is haemorrhaging cash faster than anyone can understand. The masses, blindly led to believe that everything is OK, follow their leaders’ word like a fish takes to water.
It’s in the backdrop of this that Max decides to start a revolutionary new party seeking to challenge the seemingly irredeemable corrupt politicians. He rides on the promise of hope,change and youthful valor. It therefore comes as a surprise when he willingly takes a bribe of a 1000 euros from one of the government officials to abdicate his candidature to the country’s parliament on his behalf. Is this the change that was promised?
Not only does he betray the dream they were fighting so hard to give their people,but he also goes back on his word and still vies for the political seat he promised to relinquish. A mistake that comes to haunt him.Max, unfortunately,bit off far more than he could chew.In the end, he gets murdered in cold blood by the very politician he had made a pact with. A victim of his own doing.
The world is littered with many Max(es). Sticking true to your values is as hard as it gets. It requires a certain degree of willpower and therefore one can’t blame themselves for wanting to indulge a little by bending the rules. Then you find yourself subscribing to different values altogether down the line 😣.It’s important to remember.
“If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything, at any time, and you would achieve nothing.”-Bruce Lee
Here a few pointers to help you stick to the straight and narrow path.
1. surround yourself with honest friends
“Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future”-Dan Pena
This rings true every time. You are a reflection of people you surround yourself with. Surrounding yourself with honest people who are willing to stick the hard truth to you is very essential.Try and get rid of toxic people who may lead you to deviate your values.It may be hard to cut off these ties, but if you believe it’s what is right for you, then don’t be afraid to let go.
2. don’t hide your character or preferences
Ever heard of imposter syndrome? This is the fear that the world is going to find us out. One of our greatest fears is that if we show our true selves, the world will say, “Oh, it’s just you.” But being just you is actually the best and most perfect thing you could ever be.
“Be just you, everyone else is taken” -Oscar Wilde.
shedding off the masks you’ve put on to please people can have a lot of potential benefits. For starters the relief from living a fake life will give you a lot of joy,where you no longer have to do things just to please a few people who most likely don’t even appreciate you. Secondly, you’ll now be able to achieve your full potential set by your own standards and values and not dictated by what other people have to say on every small thing that you do.
3.evaluate your values
Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work.
These values should determine your priorities in whatever task you want to achieve, be it business, social interactions or even your spirituality. When you define this persona values, it becomes easier to identify what’s really important to you.
4. embrace your flaws
There’s nothing bad in trying to be your best with the natural abilities and talents that you have.What hurts is when you are enslaved by the compulsion to meets some artificial standards on what is ‘perfect’. In reality, perfection is an illusion as nothing in this world is hardly perfect. Try embrace the flaws you have, be it a scar in your body, an inability to do something or psychological issues. You’ll find that if you stop worrying about this issues, you’ll actually lighten up more easily and you become healthier. Healthier relationships with others and most importantly a healthier relationship with yourself.
Most importantly , avoid comparing yourself to others as much as you can as well.
5. Don’t forget to laugh
Laughter is the best medicine. Don’t believe me?check this out
Sulking and whining all day will not alleviate all your problems, if anything,it just makes you a toxic person and one to avoid. Doing things that make you happy this coming year should be a top priority. Laughing has been proven to ease up a lot of tension and actually reduce stress. So why not do yourself a favor and laugh more often?