When I was a student and a budding writer, I had an opportunity to communicate with an eminent educationalist, thinker and writer Dr. Gunvant Shah. On a question I asked “How can one be like you”, here is his response which has been one of the most significant learnings in past few years.
Please know that when you face God after you die, God will not ask “Why did not you be a great leader like XYZ?” God will ask “Why did not you be yourself?” Everybody in this world has “something” which is unique to themselves. It is very important to identify that “something” and be one with your strengths. It is this “something” that makes you come alive and Abraham Maslow defines this as “self actualization”. The “other” person is completely useless in this context and hence someone has rightly said “Your hell is the other person”. Your real achievement in life would be to be one with your inherent strengths within. Can someone else die instead of you? Similarly someone else cannot live for you. So, if someone tries to be like me, it would be a suicide - death of one’s own strengths.
Self Actualization is the highest level of human development and Abraham Maslow defines it like this: “Self Actualization is the intrinsic growth of what is already in the organism, or more accurately, of what the organism is”
We all have some strengths wired in our DNA – things that come naturally to us. Knowing these strengths is the key. Some of the most successful people who have walked this earth have been the ones who have known and played their strengths. I just came across a beautiful post on Life 2.0 titled “Finding our niche” which includes a quote by Harold Whitman:
Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive.”
I would like to leave you with two questions. Are you actualized with yourself? Are you playing your strengths?