The predictive searching gizmo on Google is a revealing way to learn what other people think, as its suggested searches are based on what they’ve been looking for.
For instance, when I typed in ‘how to be’ just now, it informed me that the top four most common requests are: How to be happy, How to be pretty, How to be funny, and How to be good kisser. (On that last one, the top site returned suggests that it all starts with looking after your lips. Make a note: buy lip balm.)
The thing is, and it’s confirmed by the large number of volumes you’ll find in the Self-Help section of a bookstore or library, it seems we all want to be something we’re not. We’re unhappy so we want to be happy (understandably). We think we’re not pretty, so we want to be more attractive. We’re a bit serious so want to be funny. Or we worry we’re not a great kisser so we want to discover what we’ve been doing wrong.
I guess self-improvement is a natural human drive, but it’s a crying shame when this interferes with being comfortable with yourself.
Your life has made you the individual you are. It has shaped and moulded you, and there’s no-one on the planet who’s exactly like you: surely something to celebrate rather than regret?
Rather than wishing you were somehow different, why not tackle the day being glad that you’re you?
As Oscar Wilde said: ‘Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.’