- Erich Hofmeister
When Just Doing You Just Isn’t Working
"Just do you, man. Just do you."
"Girl, just do you. That’s all. Just. Do. You."
What does that mean, exactly?
Maybe to some, it means: You are enough. Or perhaps: just be yourself.
Fair enough. That’s not bad.
But is that really what is communicated from such a sentiment? And is it the most loving thing one could say? Or might it be, perhaps, the most lazy thing we could offer.
We live in a time of fake love. Lots of it.
Have you ever been on the receiving end of that? Someone says that they care, but when push comes to shove, they’re gone?
Or, (gripping the mirror in front of us), how many of us have been that person?
We “love” with words but when things get hard, we either throw some cheap platitude at the person we’re supposed to help or simply don’t show up in any actionable way. We do what's easy.
We may not like it, but nobody ever became great through “easy”.
Nobody ever overcame an addiction, walked through the loss of a loved one, found victory over an emotional trial, lost a ton of weight, or summited a personal peak with easy, pat, glib sentiments.
And any one of us who have ferociously battled an obstacle in our lives and won, OR are still battling with our eyes on the prize, know that we have to go beyond ourselves.
We must push past the chatter within us that says to stop, give up, or just take it easy.
We must not settle.
If I “just do me”, I will very easily find a holding pattern, a default setting that got me into my problem in the first place.
If I “just do me”, I am in effect saying, “I’m good where I’m at” and “whatever has been programmed into me through my upbringing, culture, etc. I’ll just let it sorta take its course”.
If I “just do me”, I may find myself in the exact same spot a year from now that I was in a year ago.
That’s not freedom. That’s not progress.
In fact, what you think is “you” is a product of a whole of things, many of which have been foisted upon you, both positive and negative, from others.
Real freedom and real autonomy will instead choose its own road, by design – the decision to live better, act on purpose, take honest inventories of thought-life, make incredible goals, and walk out a plan.
The first step to this kind of progress is being really, REALLY honest with yourself. Like we’re talking RAW honesty.
Most of us don’t want the truth. We would rather stay in a very small world that insulates us from anything that challenges the normal, predictable, status quo of our lives.
This is where most people live: Safe, predictable, familiar.
If this is what you like, you can plant yourself there, pass the time there, and passively remain there until the final minute of your life.
But is that what you really want? In the deepest places of your heart, are you truly OK with that? Is business as usual the kind of business you deeply desire?
If you’ve read this far, then probably not! You want more because you know there’s more.
Give up the complacency and begin to forge a better story.
And you are a work in progress so be patient with yourself! But remember, your existence on this planet is short, fragile, and unfathomably valuable.
Don’t waste your life.
Don’t settle for what the “you” has always been and always delivered.
Be honest. Be deliberate. Be intentional.