Saturday, September 8, 2012
Self Improvement: Be The "You" You Want To Be, Today
Pittsburgh has an amusement park called Kennywood. It's actually where Adventureland was filmed. Any Pittsburgh native visits the park every summer to catch a thrill on a rollercoaster, take their kids to experience what they experienced as a child, eat Potato Patch cheese fries, or to just kindle old memories of their own childhood. This year, time only allowed me to go once, but I had a great time. While I was standing in line for one of the rides, I heard an advertisement somewhere within the background chatter that said, "Make new memories." It was just a marketing ploy for the amusement park, but it really inspired me to get more active in "making new memories", as opposed to remembering old ones. The time is now, right?
It made me realize that even though I might have been at Kennywood on this day because I have some of the best memories of being in that park as a kid, I had the opportunity to make an equally rich new memory.
We often don't think of current moments as being memories, because we don't exactly know how they will pan out yet, but they are worth investing in. It's worth it to look at what you're doing right now because one day it will be a memory: it will be a soothing memory or one that makes you cringe (we can all probably think of a few moments that make us cringe- like an awkward first date.) Either way, it shouldn't be something you sleep through.
Every moment is an opportunity of some sort. You are alive, you are breathing, and you are creating new memories. It's so vital to realize that tomorrow's aren't guaranteed, so you need to be making memories. Everything that you want to be in this life, you need to do it now. Start investing in the only thing you have to work with: right now. This piece of information is literally so vital, but we often forget about it.
This is something that I sometimes catch myself struggling with. I try to live in the present moment, but I'm a thinker. I love to think. I tend to remember memories that are over and done with sometimes and it brings a dark cloud over new territory: the present moment. These don't even need to be bad memories; they can be memories of when I remember (note how I say remember) myself being better than I might be currently. For instance, I'll think, when I was 120 pounds, my life was SO much better. Or, when I had that other job, my life was SO much better. I even take it forward and think, "Once I get some new Apple product, my life and my blog will be so much better." I have to literally pull my head out of the clouds in order to think, "Oh, wait, my little life is amazing now."
Memories that deteriorate the present moment are literally like subjecting your skin to a skin eating disease. Thoughts that make you think you aren't good enough yet to fully experience the now are just as destructive. So, any thoughts that take away from you projecting yourself forward in life with what you have are what are false and unnecessary. If you notice, nostalgia never makes you feel immobilized in any way. Nostalgic memories encourage and inspire you to do things that you once loved or made you feel loved. But, painful or false memories supported by a fearful ego (like when I mentioned the "my life was so much better when I had that other job" faux-memory) do nothing but make you probably don't have it in you to make new memories, right?
Being the best you is about being the best you can be mentally, in the present moment. Being the best you is an inside job. You can start today, even if you don't think you have everything you need. Despite what the thoughts and memories we discussed above might tell you, you do have what you need. Just start being that person you dream of being, today.
Photo Credit: Pinterest/Pics and Quotes