What does it mean to be your best version?

Dream several dreams, chase them all, and live several versions in this one life!

What does it mean when we are told to be the best version of ourselves? How can we know whatโ€™s the potential to which we can or should push ourselves? Would it not be a self-defeating task to drive ourselves beyond our capability, and in the process miss out on achieving that which is well within our reach?

How we look at this conundrum holds back the lily-livered amongst us, while it propels the confident ones to become achievers. Courage matters. The courage to face yourself and accept your weaknesses, but also the courage to work on your vulnerability in tandem with your strength, and not give up. Even more important is the courage to choose your path โ€“ or paths, uncaring what others think. Who says you must choose just one dream to follow?

Knowing yourself is critical. Yes, but itโ€™s ok to be confused about yourself sometimes too. And to allow yourself to change your mind and realign your dreams. It isnโ€™t possible to stay the same and dream the same always. You can and should have several dreams that you can chase together, or one by one. You are unique โ€“ so, how can anyone else direct or limit your dreams, or set you benchmarks? So long as you understand that the only limits are the ones you set yourself, the world is your oyster. Believe this.

Do you dream big? Learn to do so, if you donโ€™t already. If you happily imagine yourself in places and situations that may seem impossible right now, there is every chance you may soon find yourself there. We have seen this happen for too many people to doubt it anymore. In her memoir Unfinished, Priyanka Chopra talks of the many times she wished for something, and then unbelievably found it come true. One day she told a friend that her photo would be on all six billboards in Juhu. Later she imagined herself on a billboard in Sunset Boulevard. Incredibly all this came true! For a small-town girl hoping to become an engineer, to be crowned Miss India, Miss World and then to take Bollywood as well as Hollywood by storm โ€” what a story of courage, hope and big dreams! Talking to me as we recorded a session for the upcoming Times Literature Festival, Priyanka said, โ€œTo me confidence is like a muscle. The more you build it, the stronger it is!โ€

Arrogance and fear of failure are two enemies to beware of. Fear will not let you start, and arrogance will ensure you have a fall. Why fear failure, asks Prof Brene Brown โ€“ it is bound to happen. What matters is how you pick yourself up later and what you do with that failure. Own your vulnerabilities because the more vulnerable you allow yourself to be, the braver you prove yourself. You will fail, then rise and learn!

Now, own up โ€“ all this while that I spoke of goalposts and achievements, you were imagining someone in a business suit huffing and panting their way to the next milestone. Were you not? But why? Your goalposts and achievements can be those you float, paint, sing, write, play, fly towards easily too, without stress. Even all these together! Your idea of success and happiness can be a healthy and great looking version of yourself or just a peaceful you! How does it matter? You alone must define your best version and you alone, set your goals. What counts is the persistence and hard work, the belief and courage โ€“ and the happiness at the end of it.

Who said that all achievements must be in one sphere? You must live several lives in this one life โ€“ dream of everything you desire and set out to achieve it all in varying degrees.

So go on then, dare to dream and live your best version, or versions!



Views expressed above are the author’s own.



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