Become who you were born to be.
This is one of my favorite lines. It’s from Return of the King (LOTR) when Elrond brings Aragorn (the rightful king) his sword before a pending, epic battle for Middle Earth. As Elrond stands before Aragorn, it’s at a time when all seems lost. It would be much easier to run and hide. It would be easier to ignore the surrounding circumstances and to opt for small dreams and selfish pursuits.
It reminds of an alternative quip that is somewhat popular today – “Be you.” It sounds so cute and encouraging. Don’t get me wrong, I love individuality and the courage to be different. But we should be wary when this sentiment is used to encourage rash or compulsive behavior. Like when you want to default on your responsibilities, don’t worry about it. Be you. Can’t afford something, but really want it anyway? Go for it! Be you. Want that experience, but worried about the consequences or feeling some angst? Just be you.
The issue at stake is the “you” in reference in any given situation. The challenge in the world today is that we’re often not very patient or self-controlled. (See: Fast food, credit card debt, social media commentary, etc…) And the “you” that most of us really want to be, at least in our best moments, is not readily within our grasp. It requires a process of becoming. It requires years of discipline and perseverance. It requires making the hard decisions over and over again.
Think about your life like a map.
- Where do you want to go? Who do you want to become?
- Where are you today? What kind of person are you right now?
- What’s the path from here to there? What will it take? What price are you willing to pay? What steps will get you from here to there?
With this in mind, by all means, be you. Become you. The journey may be long and it may be challenging at times along the way. But it will be worth it. Every hard decision will be worth it. The patience and perseverance you learn along the way will be worth it. So go. Become who you were born to be.