I am what I am: Really, is that it?
Life is about what we are
Isn’t it? Unlike most other living creatures we are the only species called human “beings”. I personally have never heard of a cat being or a dog being. Give or take, my logic says it is this way simply because we as humans have the choice to “be” the way we choose, hence we are aptly called human “beings”. The power lies in our hands to make what we do of our lives.
Another interesting fact, and this has been observed by experts, is that human beings do better when they are competing against someone rather than performing the same task by themselves. Obviously then, competition brings out the better in us, in comparison to an ordinary non-competitive situation.
Keeping the above points in mind, I present to you an ideology that says the best and the hardest competition lies between what you are today vs. what you are capable of having been this very day. Ask yourself: What am I capable of having been today, given the fact nothing else around me has changed?
I am capable of a lot more
In my research on this topic, I discovered every single person around me to have fallen way short of their own expectations of themselves. Invariably everyone thinks of themselves as being capable of a lot more, yet they are not where they expected to be. This is not about what one desires to be, but just about how different or better off you are capable of being at this moment. Many times we look back at what we have done in retrospect and say to ourselves, “I really could have managed that, shouldn’t have let go”. This is definitely true of people who missed out on an opportunity and later realize that they did. Now the idea here is to think not in retrospect but bring this way of thinking in at a time when we are making a decision. We (me and a few friends) gave it a shot. The idea was very simple: Every time you do something, compare it to your capability and ask yourself, “Is this the best I could have done?” Set the situation aside — assuming it were to be the same — and focus on yourself and your performance. For instance, if a certain condition was not favourable to your accomplishment or task, did you do the best you could have done to deal with it?
Once you have asked yourself the above question and seen the difference, do it when you are planning your next move. Let your capability of getting something done define the quality of the result. Lay out a challenge for yourself and watch how it transforms the process. I have personally found it very enjoyable to do so. How well would you do something if I were to judge you completely based on that?
Every person I’ve spoken to about their unachieved dreams has boiled it down to the idea that they were/are capable and yet for some reason they never looked at it that way. They just let a lot of situations overpower their belief in their own capabilities; hence they faced defeat when they were capable of winning. Even for something done well, it is wise to ask: Is this the best I could have done? Am I not capable of doing better?
Why I find this thought process so beautiful is simply because the situation around us is the same in both instances. The only variable is the self that we are and what we are capable of being. In that sense, the individual involved is the only variable. The skills are the same, and the starting point is the same. The decisions made, the lessons learnt from the given situation, and the improvisations made are some of the things that the individual could have done differently.
I wish to leave this short and hear your side on it too. All I ask of you is that you do this little test on yourself. Ask yourself “What am I capable of having been today?” Note it down, then make a note of “what I am today”. Let the difference speak for itself. I wish you well in this competition. The result will be out there for the world to see. And if no one else, you will surely gain from it.
All the best!