I was recently reading a personal development blog when I recalled the days not too long ago that I, too, had wanted to start my own personal development blog. Back then, I had wanted to be something along the lines of a “life coach” to people; I’d envisioned that I’d write self-improvement articles, give prep talks in schools to graduating students, and provide seminars to people seeking personal growth.
“Imagine that you could have anything you wanted in life,” I’d say, pausing a little to let that thought sink in, after which I’d add,“now imagine that the last statement was a self-evident truth, that you could have anything you want in life.”
“Now,” I’d then say, while casting sideways glances at anybody and nobody in particular, “stop imagining, and start knowing… because it is true.” My audience would get goosebumps and, truth be told, so would I.
But let’s get back to reality here. I just thought how great it would be to help people be the best they could be; I mean, what greater life purpose is there than to help others find their life purpose?
Along the way though, self-doubt crept in. Emboldened by books such as Fooled by Randomness and The Halo Effect, by Nassim Taleb and Phil Rosenzweig respectively– both of whom in their books wrote about the large role chance plays in our lives — self-doubt effectively made me reconsider my own role in empowering others find their purpose.
Occasionally I’d find myself going back to books of the typical “self-improvement” genre. For a while, I’d feel empowered and motivated, and feel like self-doubt made its way back out, only to realise a little later that many such books are based on faith more than anything else. Too many of these books are based more on faith than anything else, and even acclaimed books based on “research” such as Good to Great, which I enjoyed greatly, have not convinced me entirely — their research methods, let’s just say, are not entirely bullet-proof either.
The problem with what has happened (to me) has left me feeling rather confused. I’m stuck between a “be the best you can be” mode and a “let things be” mode, each of which returns to and leaves me on a rather cyclical basis, like the rising and falling of the tides. The only thing is, the tide of the “let things be” seems to be getting more often the older I get.