Being our best selves


Sometimes I compare myself unfavorably to others.  “Why can’t I be more like so-and-so?” I wonder.

And I’m sure that if I tried really hard I could be a bit more like that person.

But more often than not, I realize that it would be better for me to invest my time and energy in developing my unique talents rather than becoming a shadow of someone else.

All of us contribute more to the world, I believe, when we are our first rate selves rather than a second rate someone else.

Likewise, people of all ages thrive when they are encouraged to be their best selves.

People report that they are most satisfied with their work and lives when they use their talents for worthy purposes.

Just as we each have unique talents, we each have unique opportunities.

Because there is no one exactly like us in the particular situations in which we find ourselves, we each have unique opportunities that arise throughout our lives to make a difference that no one else can make.

When do you thrive?

What are the qualities of relationships that encourage you to  be your best self?

What other conditions promote those qualities?

6 Responses to “Being our best selves”

  1. 1 Deanne Moore September 9, 2015 at 9:36 am

    This is right on time for me and all that is transpiring in my life. Thank you immensely.

  2. 3 Sarah Sanders September 9, 2015 at 12:59 pm


    Your post comes at a time of transition for my career and I find myself questioning if this was the right change for me. After reading your post I know that I am in the right place – I need to stop comparing myself to others and be concerned about doing what I know I am capable of.

    So to answer your questions:
    When do you thrive?
    I thrive when I can have a sense of autonomy. I like finding creative ways to solve problems and running with new ideas. I work well with others, and like to engage in deep discussions about topics. I also have found that I really need quiet time for reflection and consolidation. There needs to be a balance.

    What are the qualities of relationships that encourage you to be your best self?
    With relationships at work I do best with others who like to stimulate thinking. I like to have people question my thoughts/ideas. It gives me a chance to really solidify my thinking when I have to justify it. I also find that having a supervisor/leader that has taken the time to get to know me; to really understand how I work. Having their support and knowing that they trust my process is huge!

    What other conditions promote those qualities?
    Supportive, teamwork settings I think are best for me. I like to be surrounded with others who are striving to do better. I am not one to sit on the side and be happy with the minimum. I am hungry to learn more and to make progress in my teaching practice.

    Thanks for adding an extra thought to my lunchtime reading! Great way to start my afternoon.

    • 4 Dennis Sparks September 9, 2015 at 3:19 pm

      I am very pleased that today’s post helped you affirm that you are in the right place, Sarah. And I appreciate your thoughtful responses to the questions I posed. I’m confident your answers will encourage other readers to do the same, whether or not they choose to post their responses.

  3. 5 Mike Phillips September 9, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    Denis, reflecting back on my life, I believe I’ve done my best work when in relationships that created high expectations and supported teams to reach those expectations.

    The teams I’ve worked with have come together to reach for those lofty goals with each teammate using their own strengths to make the team stronger – kinda like the Blue Jays! 🙂

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