Just Do You

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"Just do you."

I can't tell you how many times I've either a) heard this said to me -- mostly by my sister when I'm trying to justify having a second dessert -- or b) said this to others -- mostly when they've aired a dilemma they clearly need to figure out for themselves, and they're either clearly leaning toward a particular decision already, or I actually have zero idea of how best to help them... it's usually my fallback advice.

And you know what?  It's really pretty great advice, and way more sage than we give this modern little bit of slang credit for.

So.  Below I dissect "just do you" into its three core components, so that we can all understand the brilliance of this as a guide to living life.


In this context, the word "just" means "only."  Only do you.  Not anyone else.  You.  You are in this world for a specific reason, to fulfill a purpose and to share gifts no one else has been given.  To spend time wishing you were someone else, living another story or fulfilling a different purpose, is to squander the unique set of opportunities that are yours alone -- opportunities that can be your instruments for changing your life and the world.  Use them to create a symphony -- the kind that plays in the background of an epic film starring you, living your dreams and being awesome, and frolicking through a meadow filled with daisies or poppies or something.  "Only" doing you will allow you to "actually, really, positively" (that's another definition for "just" I found on dictionary.com!) be yourself.

I think it was Walt Disney who said, "The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique."  Because the flipside of the above is that nobody can be you as well as you can be you.  If there were a job description for your life, the hiring authority wouldn't need to look at anyone else.  You'd be it.  So be excited about the job you've been given, and just worry about yourself.  Be the best version of you that you can be, because you were made for extraordinary things. 


I think we spend too much time thinking (see what I did there? ;)).  Don't get me wrong -- thinking is awesome.  I like the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz and everything, but I think life would be pretty unfortunate if my head were full of stuffing.  Not to mention that song would get old so fast.  

But I don't think "do," at least in the way we typically tend to think of it, is necessarily the answer to this problem.  "Do" is a word that's wrapped up in planning, and the general busy-ness of our daily schedules, too preoccupied with being productive that we forget to... well, just be.  It's this sort of "just being" that, I think, is its own type of "doing," and it's this type of "doing" that I see in this piece of advice: doing what comes naturally to you, doing what makes you happy, doing what makes you lose track of time, doing what gets you back in touch with your inner 8-year-old because you just aren't thinking about what you think you should be doing instead.  Do without thinking.  Be in this moment instead, and just do you.  Effortlessly and fully.


You.  Psst!  Yeah, you!  You are a miracle.  Do you know what the odds were at the moment of your conception that you, specifically, would be created?  

...I don't know, either.  But I know they were really slim.  You are a product, somehow, of both wondrous chance and grand design.  So I will say it again:

You.  Are.  Here.  For.  A Reason. 

Live your life like you believe you are a gift worthy of being given to every person whose life you touch just by being in this beautiful world... because you are.  You are extraordinary, and amazing, and you're figuring out this life just the same as anyone else... and you're doing just fine.  Better than you give yourself credit for, in fact.  So keep doing you.  Trust me, you're on the right track.  :)  

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