Learn To Live As The Best Version Of You
By: Michele Russo of The Dime Series, As seen on Thought Catalog.
“I’m just out here trying to live my best life.”
Sound familiar? It’s a phrase so many of us have heard lately, but what does it mean? I think living your best life is much more than going on extravagant vacations or having the money it takes to afford such a trip. While those things are great, life is more than just living for that next Instagram picture that’s going to get the most likes because, in the end, it’s nothing more than empty attention. So, what does it mean to live your best life? To me, it’s more about developing the best version of yourself that causes you to truly live up to your full potential.
In college, I found myself trudging through a long day of classes on the first day of a new semester. I was uninterested in my university, my classes, and my teachers. It seemed that none of the professors had ever actually worked in the industry, they just taught by the books and expected the students to follow suit. I was not about to learn from someone with no life experience, so I dozed off, gave minimal effort, staring out the windows with no real interest until one teacher came along and changed my life forever.
Initially, I thought this guy was crazy. He showed up to class 15 minutes late and after introducing himself, immediately spoke of our first assignment. What he asked of our class sent shockwaves over the room: he wanted us to write our own eulogies. It seemed like the most ridiculous morbid assignment I had ever been given. I was disgusted by the assignment but nonetheless decided to put my head down and complete the task. During the second class, our professor asked that a few students read their eulogies aloud. He let about three people share before he stopped and said, “You guys have it all wrong, and here lies the lesson. So often, when we describe ourselves we start naming off the accomplishments in our lives, but you see, those things provide no value. Tell me who you are and the type of person you want to be remembered as in this world. I don’t care if you’re at the top of your class, tell me the story that brought you to that point, explain to me your grit.” It was at that moment that my life changed forever. Throughout the semester, he not only taught me how to tell a good story, but he taught me that every person has a story and each story is worth hearing. It was in his class that I realized it was possible to change people’s lives through storytelling because he changed mine and I will forever be grateful for that message.
As time went on, our class learned that our professor was a former Hollywood screenwriter, so telling stories was a skill he had mastered at the highest level. His tagline to his students when they felt any sense of doubt was, “Go with God.” Interesting advice to be given by a college professor, right? I think what he meant was choose love. Choose faith, choose to slow down and realize what really matters in life- I promise it’s not the amount of “likes” you get on an Instagram post. Choose to take the time to listen to the stories of others, because you never know when someone will stop you dead in your tracks and change your life forever with their story.
Judgment holds us back from a world full of adventure. If I would have allowed my initial judgment of the professor that I once thought was so morbid get in my way, I would have missed one of the greatest lessons of my life.
So, how does this story apply to the dating world? Well, for starters, I hope it teaches you to stop judging every book by its cover. We are all so quick to judge people, especially on dating apps. We’re out there swiping left and right mindlessly, maybe it’s time to take a second to read a few bios. Maybe it’s time to take a chance with someone new that normally would never catch your eye. Branch out and go on that date with the type of person that just “isn’t your type.” You never know who you could meet in the process of dating that will forever change your perspective or inspire you in some type of way. And when it comes to dating profiles, instead of listing all your wants and needs like a personal plea to the universe, try writing your story as the type of person you are at your core. Hell, at the very least, just remember who that person is when you’re dating. Hiding behind a resume or list of reasons why people should remember you is the last thing on earth that’s going to bring you the truly loving relationship of your dreams. In order to find that type of partner, you’re going to need to be authentic and open. You’ll have to take a chance and stop hiding your profile filled with things you think people want to hear. Be real.
If you don’t know who you are- and believe me, there’s no shame in that, but you’re going to have a hell of a time deciding what it is that you want. So, how do you start finding out who you are? Well, simply put, you stop saying no… No, I won’t date him. No, I won’t try that. No, I won’t take that chance, I know how it will end up anyway. That type of thinking won’t get you anywhere. Learn to jump, take a chance at love and most importantly let love in. You would be amazed at how much we block ourselves from out of fear. My advice to you is to allow yourself to become the person you were always meant to be, write your own story and don’t allow the negative experiences in your life to sit in your mind and hold you back from the life of your dreams. Use the negative past experiences as a way to help define the direction you want your life to go. It’s your story, so tell me…
Who do you want to be?
Michele is a former St. Louis Rams Cheerleader living in St. Louis. Follow Michele from the sidelines of the NFL to the sidelines of the modern dating world.