We Know What We Are, But Not What We May Be
I look around and I see people without dreams or hopes, stuck in exhausting life situations that don’t make them happy…
People who have given up, who only recognize what they are today and not what they could be. As a result, they haven’t even thought about that possibility that their lives could be different.
These are unenthusiastic people, with no goals or courage to recognize that they still have the power to define their futures. Defined by their studies, their work, their marital status, or their personal condition, they pay no attention to their talents or values.
Their life consists of what they did in the past, but not any current things they’re working on. They’ve abandoned everything that used to make them dream in favor of a conventional life. Now, they just do what they have to.
Why are there so many people who let life take the reins? They justify their indifference with the thought that everything is already set in stone.
Why do they abandon their dreams? How do they decide to give up the hope that they could be something greater if they only tried a little harder? Let’s delve a little deeper…
“Why do we think that we live our lives, when it is our lives that live us?”
-Matilde Asensi in The Last Cato (2001) and Cato’s Return (2015)
There’s a lot of life left to live
The present is what is, you can’t deny that. The situation you find yourself in is the result of your decisions, experiences, and opportunities. Maybe it isn’t exactly what you expected or what you thought you deserved, but there you are.
The contrast between who we were in the past and who we are now gives us clues about our growth.
The present can be your best friend or your worst enemy. It can be the chains that bind you or the trampoline that lets you reach new heights and fulfilled dreams.
It all depends on how you see it. You can’t see the future or predict the obstacles you’ll come across or the people you’ll meet. You can, however, decide what your attitude will be towards whatever comes.
Getting to know yourself as you are now is important. Also important — and possible — is choosing how you want to focus your life and your path.
If you don’t, you will be a puppet to circumstance. You must embrace your character, accept your weak points, admit your limitations, and believe you can move forward. That way, you can get unstuck, and grow.
A limitation doesn’t define who you are or what you can be
You are much more than your weak points, limitations, and mistakes. They don’t define you, nor should they keep you from doing what you want to do.
Look at them as a jumping off point. When you know yourself, you know how to overcome challenges and grow because of them.
Your mistakes and limitations are not what defines your potential. It is your ability to adapt to circumstances, whether they’re of your choosing or not.
At the end of the day, you don’t need to direct your life. You need to direct yourself. That way, no matter what life throws at you, you will be able to be responsible for your decisions.
If you do this, your potential depends on your commitment to yourself. What you could be depends on the courage you have to challenge your present and what you are “supposed” to be.
Your place in the world isn’t set in stone, you have the power to choose where you want to be. The question is, do you want to participate and be the protagonist of your own story?
Or do you prefer to watch life pass you by? Do you prefer the comfort of being a victim or the discomfort of being an actor? Would you like to be a watcher or an action-taker?
“We know what we are, but not what we may be.”
You must let go to move forward
Now, if you want to make progress, you have to leave behind whatever is enslaving you. That might be people, feelings, objects, or actions. Free yourself from toxic attachments.
So often, we get stuck in the “could have should have would have” mindset. You kick yourself for mistakes and deficiencies. Instead of looking for a solution, you are trapped by your expectations. How many times have you gotten stuck because you were trying to control the uncontrollable?
We need to learn to let go of what is holding us back. Especially our desire to control everything.
The future is unpredictable and full of uncertainty. That scares some of us, and excites others, depending on personality. It also has the power to influence us and make us change our actions and decisions. The key is to open ourselves up to the possibility.
That’s why we need to learn to let go. We need to learn to take action, even though we aren’t the only thing that determines the final result.
The way forward is to forgive, and let go of anger. Learn to accept who we are, because otherwise growth and evolution are impossible. This is the first step towards taking charge of our lives.