I hate to break it to you, but you’re never going to be the “best” version of yourself. What a dealbreaker, right?! What I mean is that there is always room to be a better version of yourself; you are ever-changing. In American schools, they don’t address this as they should. They push you in the direction of one thing – a lawyer, a stay-at-home parent, an athlete. But the beauty of life is that you will NEVER be one thing. You are and always will be many things and to embrace them all is to be the best version of yourself.
*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
The School System
Being the best version of yourself starts with your first knowledge of the world and the self.
Now, did you follow the school system? Elementary, middle, high, college, master’s, P.H.D.?
While general education classes are useful in deciding what you enjoy the most or what comes naturally, there is a cloud of pressure to choose one path, one future. Even if you have more than one degree, the process in which to obtain the credential can hold vigorous studying and time commitment.
What about your other hobbies? What if you’re unsure of your subject halfway through? Thousands of students feel the pressure to stick to their one path because of the time they have already invested in that subject.
Ian Warner, a track Olympian, wrote an article on Medium.com expressing his views of the school system and made an interesting point. He talked about how the school system prepares you for more school when instead, students should be preparing for independence in the real world.
The school system does a great job of getting people ready for more school. The best choice you can make after high school is college, the best choice after college is to get your masters because that is what you are most prepared to do.Ian Warner
I think the school system should allow flexibility with change. More specifically, allowing students to alter their interests and still claim a credential in a shorter timeframe. Because guess what?? We never stop learning. Who says 4 years is the time we should complete our schooling? Who says we spend thousands of dollars on education we can find free for the rest of our lives (I won’t get into student loans – that could be a whole novel…)? And who says entrepreneurs don’t have the degree or certificate to share valuable knowledge and have it be respected? They study just as hard as students in their niche.
Respecting others who work hard, regardless of status, will be the new normal.
Being The Best Version of Yourself
But back to the one path mindset, if we can recognize early on that we are not one thing or one path or one lawyer or one job, then we can open our minds to freedom of choice. By choosing to be a mechanic by day, a guitar player by night, a video game guru, a team player, and a loving Father, you are on multiple pathways to being the best version of yourself.
You are not being defined by a job title, you are allowing your whole self and everything you are to be your identity.
Actor, producer, and director, Zachary Levi (Flynn Rider and Shazam), talked about not defining yourself by a job title and instead embracing everything that you have to offer. This was a discussion between Levi and podcaster and former monk, Jay Shetty. If you dive into one niche and love it, great! But you cannot judge, compare, isolate, or downplay yourself and your goals. A good resource is my post on the 4 agreements that will change your life.
Radical Love by Zachary Levi
This actor, producer, director, and now author, has a lot of incredible insights on how to radically love yourself so that you can inch toward the best version of yourself. Passing on his wisdom from his emotional and physical journey thus far, this book will bring out those raw feelings and make room to forgive and move on to better parts of yourself.
Best Self by life coach Mike Bayer
If you hear yourself say, “I want to focus on myself,” then this is the book for you. Bayer, also known as Coach Mike, applies his expertise to your daily life. He has you asking yourself questions you can’t think of on the surface. He helps you find a deep understanding and closes the gap between who you are and who you want to be. His second book, Be Your Best Self, is a perfect follow-up.
How Are You, Really by Jenna Kutcher
A mom, entrepreneur, wife, businesswoman, author, and many more wonderful things, Jenna dives into beautiful topics for her audience. One of my favorite parts was how she talks about her support system and even better, how to build one. This correlates to the right kind of support that the school system may not have provided.
There is no one right path to take in life. You can be a lawyer, doctor, teacher, or stay-at-home parent and be happy. But the most important thing is that you are constantly changing and evolving into a better version of yourself. One simple trick is to acknowledge that you are a lawyer, mom, sister, volunteer, runner, AND Grey’s Anatomy lover. The next time someone asks what you do or where you work, say, “I work on becoming the best version of myself every single day. What do you do?”