To Be Yourself

By Sujyana Pradhan. Sujyana, 16, is a student at Triyog High School, Kathmandu, Nepal. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

We all live in a society that influences almost every ounce of our behavior, a society that encourages us and judges us at the same time. It’s almost as if we are the participants of a reality show and society is the judge. We all realize at some point during our lives that in the midst of this crowd of people, we are losing our own thoughts and opinions to the opinions of the society.

As the adventures of childhood fade away and adulthood replaces the beauty of youth, we get lost in the opinions of other people than our own. We start to create our personality based solely on what society thinks of us and while doing all this, we lose our inner identity. As a result, we become similar to robots: we do not do what we are not instructed or advised to do.

No matter however deeply the opinions of other people influence our behavior and force us to hide our opinions, there is always a tiny part of us that wants to bring that hidden opinion out, that wants to follow what our intuition dictates us to. This tiny part is what decides whether we will ever achieve happiness in our lives. This tiny part is what makes us truly successful and free. In other words, this tiny part is what makes us human.

Most people tend to shy away from expressing their opinions openly. Whether we express our opinions or not, we must never ever feel discouraged by what other people think or say. Being able to listen to what our heart says is the greatest trait we can acquire. However strong we may look on the outside, deep inside we all possess the same fragile beating heart that guides us to live a life that we want.

Courage is not just about fighting in a battle and winning, it is not just about fighting some dreadful disease. Courage is also about following what your heart wants you to do, no matter how many people stand on the opposite bank of the river, no matter how many people make fun of you. A courageous person is not just defined by his strength but is also defined by his persistence. Just like the fact that Steve Jobs never gave up on his dream to create a long lasting company no matter how many of his colleagues left his side, no matter how many people called him ‘crazy’ behind his back. Having such courage is difficult; being able to follow your intuition is difficult. But once you possess that courage, no one can make fun of you and call you ‘crazy’ just for following your intuition.

Steve Jobs once said, “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And more important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” Being able to defy the world to follow what your heart dictates you to do is what allows you to be yourself. Because you are not what other people think you are, you are your own definition of yourself.

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