A man was hurrying back to his office having been delayed at a lunch meeting. As he moved quickly along the mall, his eyes were directed to another man who was window shopping outside a major department store. For a moment he was completely distracted for the man seemed so familiar.
That afternoon he was describing his experience to a colleague. “There was something so striking about this person but I couldn’t figure out what is was. And then it occurred to me. They say that everyone in the world has an exact double. This guy was my exact double.”
The man’s colleague was astounded. “What do you mean exact double?” he exclaimed. The man replied, “He looked exactly like me. He was dressed differently but, apart from that we were the same in every way.” “That’s amazing,” his colleague replied, “did you go up to him and ask him who he was and where he was from?”
“You know I didn’t,” the man said, “I just didn’t like the look of him!”
In humor we often find truth. That is never more evident at this time of year when the “New Year’s Resolution” is on many people’s minds. Obviously I am fully supportive of self-improvement, but not when that quest is motivated by the feeling that we are inadequate as we are, that we are not enough, that one more accomplishment will make us more worthy human beings.
My partner, Cheryl, loves to say that we are all perfectly imperfect. It is that thought I encourage you to reflect upon as you consider your New Year’s resolutions. Set aside the images in the media of the perfect body, the perfect family, the perfect partner or the perfect job. Let go of comparisons between where others are in their careers and where you are.
Focus instead on all that is valuable about you. What friend, cause or colleague benefitted from your assistance, kindness, compassion? To whom did you give encouragement, listen to, provide support, let know how valuable they were? How did you bring and add value to your organization? This is not an exercise in pumping up your ego, it is about realizing how every positive action makes the world a better place. Take credit for your contribution.
Enter this New Year with the understanding that there is truly no-one “exactly like you.” You are a combination of the natural gifts with which you were born, the knowledge you have acquired, and the skills you have developed. You have a personality that has evolved and an intellect that is growing and gaining wisdom every day. You may be perfectly imperfect, but you are also, unquestionably, a unique and miraculous member of the human family.
Accepting and building upon that reality is the most important New Year’s resolution you can ever make!
For more inspiration to help you on your path this year, check out David’s audiobooks at Audible.com!