Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly
Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second.
— William James
Individuality is a feeling founded in the recesses and gained from unapologetically doing what we love. We earn wisdom and understand its art by starting; learning what we don’t know and what to overlook, and then everything we feel or gain along the way is what makes us wonderfully unique.
Life doesn’t happen by accident. You best express your individuality through voice, action, dress, and love. And I’ve noticed over the years that if we want something—to thrive in greatness, be our true self across any domain, or simply to stand out—we must go for it and let our voice sing.
I’ve always wanted to be honest with myself and those around me. No matter if I was young, vulnerable, or weak—truth is what works. And as long as I’m true to myself, I can never be afraid of ambivalence or indifference. When you understand that most people don’t dig deep enough to find truth, the things they care about, or to establish integrity, you learn how important it is to keep digging.
Falling in love with yourself (and others, for that matter) means you should expect to fall in love with how either of you see the world, even as that view changes. I’ve always described myself as optimistic, emotional and odd. A mysterious blend of calm and chaos—traits woven so deep within each other it’s hard to tell which is responsible for my certain ways. But I’m lucky enough to be loved for it, and being true to myself in this way opened important doors and created many positives for me. Because I’ve known a lot about who I am for so long deep down that I feel comfortable going for what I want out of life in different ways. And this is what I want to explain to you.
Ava from Bookbear taught me that no one has to see the world the same way you do. And that would be boring and barring purpose. Variation in others is healthy, even desirable. Because we will never learn a better way of doing things by only listening to ourselves. And in ourselves, our work, and other people, we should be searching for beauty—because if we don’t care about beauty, our choices are too ugly.
Express yourself and do it beautifully. Choose your set of things (behaviours, hobbies, goals, skills) you will carry through this world. Choose well and make the commitments. Because commitments create beauty, and there’s something special about someone who tries to preserve that.
Success or failure depends on your attitude; it is more about how you enjoy something than what you’ve ‘accomplished’. The best recent example is LeBron James surpassing the all-time NBA scoring leader, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
Kareem gave a meaningful reflection on his philosophy. As an athlete, he says the goal is not to make scoring your obsession; it’s to win games, to please fans who cheer you on game after game and to ensure your team gets their moments to shine, thrive and pursue their own greatness. A record would mean nothing if you have used other players’ careers as stepping stones for self-aggrandisement. Points, records, and achievements are just a by-product of striving to play at the highest level you can in order to be a good teammate. “I think LeBron has the same philosophy”, he finished.
We’re all drawn naturally to something. Life can be deeply romantic in that way. Even when everything feels terrible, part of life is about discovering what can make you happy despite what’s aggravating you—just like with relationships and love. Time spent with this realisation helps make the answers more and more simple over time.
The world is full of sensation and joy; despite what you may see, it is inside everyone you’ll meet. They just need enough reminding to allow reality to be what it is, in its best shape.