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The Oprah of His Time

The summit of happiness is reached when a person is ready to be what he is.” 

I know you’re probably thinking these words were spoken by one of the greatest philosophers of our time . . . Oprah.  But no, this phrase was uttered by a man born 545 years ago, Desiderius Erasmus.  We don’t change much do we?  Apparently we were looking for the formula to personal happiness more than five centuries ago, too.

The quotation connotes that bliss is within our reach if we can just be the “self” that eludes us.  I’ve often wondered how we can hide from ourselves.  Each of us is privy to every thought, impulse, and emotion we experience.  Why are we not the best and highest versions of ourselves, always, since we are equipped with this ultimate knowledge?  How can we ever be clueless to our motivations and compulsions when we’ve been present for every moment that informs our motivations and compulsions?

I suppose the answer has something to do with the fact that we’ve also built the scar tissue that follows each disappointment and “failure” we’ve suffered in our lives.  We find ways to anaesthetize our pain and trade our clarity away in the process.

Ultimately, though, we all have choice about what we’re going to do with the mish mash of life that has come our way.  We alone choose our responses to what life has brought us.  There is tremendous power in that realization.  You can choose how you want to go forward.  From this moment on, be mindful of the fact that you have choice.

Sit quietly, alone, and contemplate your life.  Have paper and pen at hand.  Really think about what you want to be.  How do you choose to grow?  What do you aspire to become?  Write what comes to you.  Do not think about what you are writing; just record your thoughts.

When you have exhausted the possibilities for your life and are finished thinking and writing, look at your words.  Figure out what you must do to manifest your seed thoughts into the fully realized dreams of your ideas.  You are the purveyor of your future.    

On your marks, get set, GO!