Posted tagged ‘personal growth’

What Could YOU Become?

November 28, 2009

The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.

~ Charles Du Bos

I love this quote.  We get so hung up on our precious little definition of ourselves – even if that definition is something we profess not to like.  “I’m depressed”, “I’m shy”, “I’m just not that kind of person”, “I would never bungee jump”, “I always procrastinate”… etcetera.  We create these labels for ourselves and then identify with them, and woe betide anyone or any experience that tries to take them away from us.

These labels come from all sorts of things – parents, teachers, past experiences, etc.  But one thing is for sure – they come from the past.  They come from who you have been or used to be or have at some point decided to be.  They are only true in the now because you keep clinging to them and using them to define yourself.  They will only be true in the future if you continue to choose them to be.

Or… you could let them go and allow yourself to grow into the person you might become.

I love this quote because to me it says: to move and grow, you have to be prepared to let go of all the labels you have clung to, all the little definitions you have for yourself.  Only then, in the space that you have created, may the person you could become have a chance to move in.

At any moment – in THIS moment – we must be willing to sacrifice the ways we have decided to identify ourselves… and see what steps in to take their place.  This is growth.

Know Thyself?

May 7, 2009

Know thyself! A maxim as pernicious as it is ugly. Whoever observes himself arrests his own development. A caterpillar who wanted to know itself well would never become a butterfly.

– Andre Gide, French writer

I find this a very interesting quote.  I like it because it contracts so much popular sentiment and shows an elegance of independent thought.  However, I don’t think I entirely agree.

Yes, the caterpillar must look beyond what he now is to become something more.  BUT he must first observe what he currently is and, more importantly, the potential that already lies within him.  Knowing oneself is not just about knowing who one currently is, but knowing who one wants to and is capable of being.

Therefore, know thyself indeed – but include in that knowing the knowledge not just of where you are but where you are going.  Be the caterpillar who beholds his green skin with love, yet holding within himself joyfully the image of a butterfly.