As is obvious given the title up above, I am not really a fan of the phrase “be yourself” and its excessive usage within every conceivable context, but primarily in the context of go-getter hyper optimistic enthusiasts. Motivational stuff tends to grind my gears – “the freedom to be yourself” and “dare to be yourself”..I think it’s all quite rubbish really. There’s a reason for this, and naturally, I’m going to explain it in many words.
To be blunt off the bat though, I am all for people being individuals – given my recent post on people deifying literally everything and the solution being a nihilism vaccine, it’s pretty obvious that I am for someone being unique and all about their own lives.
But be yourself is a meme, and it’s a meme because it tends to be a blanket term that people say for the feel goods, feeding into the vacuum of nothing that feels good for a moment, then vanishes without a trace. Not just that, but usually the people constantly yelling about it follow it up with a paid for premium package that shows you how to “be” yourself. Surprise!
What does it mean to “be” yourself? How does it follow that one becomes themselves when they can only be themselves to begin with? What were you before? A cereal box? It’s a bizarre thing to say. “be yourself!” they say, as I throw my empty coffee mug at them in anger screaming “I AM MYSELF, YOU UTTER FU-“
My point is that there is no point in telling anyone to “be yourself” because it is utterly meaningless. You are yourself. Now from there, how do you want to be?
See? That’s better. That’s productive. You’re already a unique meatbag like everyone else, now how do you want to actualize that meat? This opens people up to the idea that they can change. Being yourself is basically just being the same slab of meat and making the claim that it’s worth buying because it’s “unique”. No, you git, that’s not how life works. You need to cut up and refine the meat in a certain way that it becomes an enticing meat. The way you cut it up is how you want to be, and is the unique part.
Now, keep in mind, there is such thing as “rotten” meat, and this is where understanding that some variables simply don’t work when it comes to selling a product. If you’re cutting up your meat and it has maggots all over it ie. you’re a murderous psychopath that keeps saying you’re “in touch with humanity”, then not many people will buy your meat. Anyway..
Let’s take for example the concept of dating, which I recently wrote about too and is a perfect segway. If you take the mind-destroying advice of “being yourself”, then you’re doomed to fail in dating because it tells you nothing of the variables behind dating, the fact that other people are evaluating you by default, and so many other things. If being yourself is being a pajama wearing moron that is desperately searching for sexual satisfaction, you will not get far – unless the pajamas are REALLY cool. That and “be yourself” leads to conclusions like “If I can’t find a partner, then I’m not good enough, because being myself has led to failure”.
Does this mean being a chameleon and changing based on social circumstances? No! And this part also drives me nuts, because people are so binary about this all. If it’s not being yourself, it’s being what other people want you to be. No, that’s not what I mean and it’s not how the world works. You can be how you want to be while simultaneously understanding that the product you are putting on offer needs to be enticing in some way, but is not subject to change because others want it to. That’s called integrity – or “having a spine” in Alpha male bro dude terms. But I digress.
You already are yourself, so how do you want to be? If you want to be a suave woman-slaying playboy because that is of value to you, then go for it – but you need to establish the variables that actually maketh that kind of man. So you take what you’ve learned and succeeded with, omit the parts that failed you ie. dick pics, then optimize as you go. It is self-development and maintaining authenticity in your own style.
You’re being inductive, basically. You’re taking generalized experiences then deducing what worked and didn’t work, then applying it to whatever goal you want achieved. But the goal shouldn’t be for “other” people. It’s about you and what you want, and building it how you want.
This goes into another issue – thinking you need to be “better” as a human being, existentially. This is also wrong. A mindset that must be kept is that you’re good enough to change and do the things you want, existentially. This doesn’t mean “good enough to slay all the chicks” by default – it means capable of doing so with the work.
Think of it linguistically – in comparatives, what comes before “better”? Good. So, you’re good enough as you are, and you can always be better. Simple.
Look, I’ll use myself as an example – I am myself, and there’s no other way for me to be or exist. I am definitely not an AI trying to subvert you all and cause a robotic uprise. Definitely. Anyway, I am myself, now how do I want to be as a person?
Well, I like writing, painting and I also really like coffee. I also enjoy injecting humor, terror and philosophy into my writing. It’s fun for me. So I do that, without giving a sliver of a shit as to how people feel about it. I’m carving my meat (jesus CHRIST) into a way that I want it. It’s productive, it’s interesting, it has its own merits, and I can always optimize it and change it as I live.
Do I do it for other people? No. But I understand that my work, my looks, all that stuff – matters. People see what I do and if my meat is juicy, they’ll buy it. It depends on if they want my meat or not ultimately, and whether it gives them value. I may have 10 people who like my meat, or 50, or in the future, 50,000 – but regardless, I am making my meat how I want it to be and know it has value and productivity behind it.
That’s enough about my meat, but you get the idea. You ARE yourself. You can’t BE anything else.
Now how the hell do you want to be? Figure it out, research, think, and go thrive.
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