Be True to Yourself – the first of the five secrets

Jul 19, 2016 | Turning 60 and Beyond | 2 comments

“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken”
Oscar Wilde

The first secret in John Izzo’s book The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die” is to be true to you, to yourself and to live with intention. Don’t try to emulate someone else, just be you. Be your own unique self. And be thankful that you are unique.

When I was growing up my mother wanted me to be a nurse when I finished school. That’s what she wanted to be. Back then, unfortunately there were two traditional career paths for women—nursing and teaching. Or for the brave and adventurous, you could be a stewardess if you were the right height, pretty enough, single and wanted to travel the world. So I grew up with the idea of being a nurse, but I didn’t really want to be a nurse. I didn’t really like blood, and every time I saw anyone in pain, I’d take on their pain, I was hopeless around sick people. I don’t really know what I wanted to do. So when I finished school I didn’t go to University; I went to work at the Post Office…it was a job. It was less than a year when my mother stepped in again and said I needed a career so I enrolled in business college and trained as a bookkeeper and that’s where I’ve been all my working days. I did go on to take night courses and get a Business Management Degree.

My point is this wasn’t my choice in life and now I know now that’s why I spent many years in unfulfilling jobs. They all had one thing in common, it was my work, and not my passion. Each time I changed jobs I’d think to myself that this one is going to be different and make me so much happier. And it would for a while.

So I caution you, in your own life, at any age, examine what you are doing and make changes to get closer to what you want out of life. Have the discipline to listen to your inner voice, your gut, and the courage to follow your heart. What we want for ourselves is constantly changing as we age and mature. But it does takes courage to do something else. And for some this courage is very hard to find—I know I certainly didn’t have it.

Learn to follow your heart—listen to your inner voices telling you what to do. And then when you find it, live your life with intention—your own intention, not someone else’s. Ask yourself these three questions. Am I following MY heart? Is my life focused on the things that really matter to ME? Am I the person I want to be?

True, following your heart is difficult. The biggest challenge is to silence the voices of others that may want you to follow their dreams. That voice may be your spouse giving you their voice of reason; it could be family–siblings, grandchildren or even parents making you feel guilty. It could be your very own saboteurs holding you back. Whatever it may be, you need to have compassion enough for yourself and gather the courage to be whatever it is you want. And just remember being true to your own self is worth it in the end.

Eleanor Roosevelt 1
Stay tuned for Secret Number Two—Leave No Regrets.