Aspirations are generally from an exterior force. Something that we believe to be bigger, better and greater than us. These aspirations could be a form of a specific person who inspires us and the qualities they possess, something we aim to be in life, or just to be anyone or anything else than we are. Sometimes we are so focused on these aspirations that we forget who we are, what we have, the things we are good at and what it is we love. Eventually we become so obsessed by wanting to jump to some fancy place we have created in our mind that we run out of steam-the engine is running but it is not going far-. We forget about ourselves and expose ourselves to a dangerous, fabricated mind-set. The only aspiration we should have is to better ourselves! This does not mean to change who we are, but accept who we are and it is only from this we can grow.
I do not claim to have it all worked out- far from it. From time to time; I also find myself aspiring to things that are simply not me. I see what I want, or what I think I want, through a mesh wired gate- seeing parts of my desire but the wire reminds me that there is a locked gate that stands between me and the wandering images in my mind. I am not much of a speaker, or let me say spontaneous speaker. I can write. I can orchestrate words on a page to a present and communicate messages, thoughts, questions and imagery- word spontaneity is my friend here. But put me in a situation where my voice needs to speak words- this friend does not show its kindest quality. I am constantly in awe of people who can swig from subject to subject in conversation that encompass depth, knowledge and laughter all starting with “Hello”! It is something I struggle to find the ingredient for. I can do the give me a topic and I can talk, but give me a freestyle- panic, overthinking, berating myself- is the recipe that I cook up myself. Simply I am not great at this! This used to really bug me. I used to come home and enter interrogator HQ and simply feel quite silly, wishing I could be that person who is good with chatter. Meanwhile, as I point out to myself my weaknesses, I forget my strengths and more importantly those things that make me feel good!
This type of thinking- scrutinising our weaknesses- allows those things we flourish in to stagnate. But instead of feeding this chain of thought, we could perhaps shift our focus. Perhaps we could change, or adapt, what we aspire to and align it with our strengths, making them great!! From this, maybe we would become more empowered by these achievements, rather those earlier desires. What if we adopted this perspective? Wouldn’t we feel good? I am learning to be ok with not being the biggest talker in the room and not dissect this more undeveloped skill. With this I am trying to put my energy into areas of my life that I am good at, for example explaining my thoughts through written word, is something I am much better at. Maybe from this it could help me with my weakness, but if not, hey! it is not my goal now- I may want to improve on this, but it’s not my goal, so why should I remove myself from my happy place when I’m not seeing the result I want?
Next time you are just with yourself, think about your aspirations. Are these aspirations you? Do these aspirations make you feel good? Or it is time to change what you aspire to?
I will sign off with a quote by Sextus Empiricus, which triggered these thought and caused me to rethink my aspirations:
“A wise man is always similar to himself.”
W| By Rebecca Sullivan