Many people wish they were different. They compare themselves with others and think that life would be better if only they had their traits, gifts, and confidence. They struggle to accept their nature, and in so doing fail to enjoy everything their uniqueness brings.
“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman
Think about it for a second. What the world needs is for you to conform to its own needs. It needs you to buy the stuff it says you need. It needs you to be predictable.
What the world needs is for you to fit in and be like everyone else. In other words, it needs you to rely on the stuff it paints as important, and neglect the stuff that actually matters to you.
Perhaps this is better described as what the world “wants”. Because as Thurman says, what the world actually “needs” is people who have come alive. A world of people who have come alive is a world of love, creativity, and acceptance. It’s a world where people live at peace with themselves, and in full acceptance of the aliveness of everyone else.
Stop asking what the world wants from you. Forget trying to change in order to fit in better. Look at what brings you joy, and accept those parts of yourself. What brings you to a place of flow? Do those things and the wants, comparisons, envy, and unhealthy competitiveness will naturally drain away.
In this episode of the podcast we look at these ideas in more depth. We examine the first of three disciplines that come from Stoic Philosophy, which is a great help to us as we think about how to thrive as introverts and sensitive types in the modern world.
How can you accept who you are?
We consider the Big 5 Personality Traits, and what they can teach us about how who we are is both fixed and flexible. By accepting what is fixed, we are able to develop our temperamental flexibility. I share why personality is like a bead on a rubber band. It’s my hope that by the end of the episode you will see that you have more control over your personality than you might otherwise think.