Know Thyself & Be Thyself
Greetings! Today’s quote for discussion from Marcus Aurelius is a good one! Granted, they all are, or I wouldn’t use them. But that’s beside the point. This one nails down one of the foundations of my philosophy as a narrator with a business background. Being Yourself is Always the Best Person to Be. To top it off, the rewards of nurturing your nature include confidence and contentment!
“If an action or utterance is appropriate, then it’s appropriate for you. Don’t be put off by other people’s comments and criticism. … The others obey their own lead, follow their own impulses. Don’t be distracted. Keep walking. Follow your own nature and follow Nature – along the road they share.”
We all too often ignore our own selves and proceed based on other people’s realities. There will always be someone telling us we should things their way, behave as they want or expect. Sometimes that isn’t a problem, but sometimes we have to stand up for ourselves, our beliefs, and how our paths align with Nature (the kind with a capital ‘N’).
While there are certainly times for compromise and change, that does not mean that it’s a good idea to let others dictate your nature – your personality and way of being. We are all special little snowflakes in our own way. Embrace it before you melt.
- We have to do what works for us.
- If it is not detrimental to yourself or others, do it.
- If it is right, then it is right for you.
- If it is wrong, then it is wrong for you.
A Mantra for any Storm
Now, I’m not going to get into the whole what is or isn’t right v wrong or good v evil debate here; that is a much different discussion! And one that is greatly subjective. For our purposes here, there is a simple mantra that can help keep you in check.
Basically, don’t be a dick. (Sorry if that word offends you. But if it does, you may want to not read my blogs because I will assuredly let slip the occasionally appropriate curse word or so. Or otherwise inappropriate comment. This ain’t nuthin’. )
As long as I can answer the question “are you being a dick?” in the negative, then I feel free to carry on with my bad self. Every industry has expert voices and some of these should be listened to while others… not so much.
Recently, I watched a webinar – I wish I could remember which one so I could credit the amazing woman who said it – that instilled a phrase into me that has helped solidify the whole concept even more. “I am the authority on what works in my life.” This. Is. Brilliant. So simple and yet so mindblowing.
Do I do my gosh-dilly-darndest to adhere to Best Practices in everything I do? Absolutely. Am I willing to adjust my mindset, workflows, methodology, or whatever to grow and improve? Most definitely. Will I change my personality to make it work? Nope.
Nor would I expect it of anyone else. I am here to help some, not all. Some are here to help me, not all. That’s cool. Anything else would be overwhelming or suck. 😉
Lessons from Popeye
I am who I am. There was a time when I thought that wasn’t enough, wasn’t good enough, wasn’t right, wasn’t wasn’t wasn’t. When I spent my time conforming to whatever world I was in and playing by rules set by the infamous ‘Them’. So I ended up (throughout many a project, client, and job) learning all about the stock markets and trading, real estate from every conceivable angle, and the legal industry. I ran an IT company and helped a number of small businesses in a number of ways.
Yet all that time, I felt adrift, lost. Never settled, always unsatisfied. Because I was existing the THEIR world, living by THEIR parameters and promptly ignoring any desires not to do so. Then I stopped letting the Undue Influences in my life have their say and have been re-finding myself ever since.
Breaking free from this wasn’t, at least initially, a conscious decision. I was merely finished with not being Me. It wasn’t, isn’t, and won’t be easy. It’s another part of the whole being human thing. There is always pressure. From peers, from family, from society. To keep up with the Jones (or the Kardashians), to be like Mike, to stay in the lines. This pressure can be intense and unrelenting. But winning this battle is worth it.
Learning about and nurturing my nature has been the best thing I’ve done in forever. The biggest trick has been realizing and re-realizing that what worked before, may not now. What works now, may not work later. The things that I value, want, desire, need, etc. all shift and change and that is okay. As long as I am true to myself to the best of my ability, I will be well on my way wherever I want to go.
All those past things, though? All that experience and expertise gained? All of it can now be applied to the wonderful world of narration. All those years in small business land taught me TONS. Perhaps the extensive business background I have is why I lean toward nonfiction audiobooks and corporate narration. Just another piece of the beautiful puzzle of my life.
Takeaways? Be yourself. Be open. Be real. Be true. But don’t be a dick.
Reach out to chat or just say hi. If you need a voice, you can hear me on my websites. Feel free to email with requests for auditions/sample reads : lisasware.com for audiobooks and lswareonline.com for corporate narration/eLearning.