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Stephen Mayo | Being Who You Are

Being Who You Are

Oct. 25, 2020

Have you ever watched a dog stalking a squirrel at the park?  This prowl has a distinctive look: the dog's ears stand at attention, her entire body is rigid and pointed straight as an arrow at the squirrel. And all her energy is focused on placing one deliberate step after another in as she inches closer, quietly and purposefully.

I've never seen a dog actually catch a squirrel, and I've heard about a success story only once: my friend's dog Ellie was so surprised at her accomplishment that she froze and quickly released the squirrel.  But Ellie strutted around as proud as a peacock for the rest of the day.

Dogs are rarely successful in this chase, yet it doesn't deter them from trying, over and over.  What can explain the sustained enthusiasm with little apparent reward?  Perhaps the true reward is not the result, but the journey.  The journey is itself rewarding, because the dog is doing exactly what she was born to do.  She is acting consistent with her natural way of being.

It's easy to spend a lot of our lives seeking specific results (a better job, a nicer home).  And there's nothing wrong with it.  But it seems a greater satisfaction comes from choosing pursuits that are consistent with who we are.  Or, from being ourselves, no matter what pursuit we're in.

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