What’s in a name?
What’s in your name?
A lot? Not much? I think there’s quite a lot, seemingly. Anyways, many people are at it .. changing names, that is. A good friend of mine from my undergraduate Uni days mentioned only a few days ago that he was going to change his name and also his son’s names. Yep, wind of change is in the air for this Father-Son and family relationships.
I am happy for him.
But it got me thinking, about names, and name changing, that is. Companies do it, sometimes with so much speed – designing company logos is a huge industry. Its big business. Who else does it? Whole countries do it. People do it, particularly when they marry and un-marry. Some people drop the name Michael for Mike, because it is more ‘them’.
Being different is important. Being different has its benefits. Being different also has its costs. Changing one’s name can be seen to give you a license to be different, as it can be seen to be an award to the ‘self’, by the self. A ceremony unto itself.
My beautiful wife told me after we got married that she had decided when she was younger that she would only change her name to her husband’s name, surname that is, if she liked it. She now has my name. Phew, I’m very happy she liked my surname – “Valentine”. It is however, very interesting to note that many people these days do not change their names when they marry. Why, I wonder? For many reasons, I guess. Maybe, it’s an indication that they want to be different. Being different sets you apart. Maybe, that’s one reason.
Do you want a license to be different? Have you thought of it? Maybe, changing your name gives you a start to find a ‘new you’? Do you want a ‘new you’? Maybe, it’s a start …. A new start, a new beginning, a rebirth even … of a new – YOU. There are only two questions you need to ask yourself:
- Why do you want to forget the ‘old you’?
- Who will you decide to be?
Closing the door to the ‘old you’ is very powerful but very difficult to do. Who are you running away from? What are you running away from? Can you run away? Can you out-run the old you? Only you can answer that.
The second question is: Who will you decide to be? You, I hope! Be all you can be. Be – YOU. Being you, is different. Appreciate your difference. You don’t need to be the same as everyone else. Don’t copy your colleagues or friends, instead set your own standards, your own bench-marks. Make your own definition of success. Do you want to live your life as ‘you’ or do you want to one day, die, knowing that you were on earth under false pretences. That you just pretended to live.
So, a very important question you’re probably thinking right now, and which relates to the subject heading of this blog is ‘how do I know when I am me?’ A very good question indeed. Not just for you, but for everyone – every individual, companies, countries even.
I think you’ll probably feel it, rather than see it, when you’re, you. Or maybe, not. Maybe its when you’ve accepted that you’re part of the universe, part of nature – ever changing. Complete. As beautiful as nature. Maybe, one has to get lost or like the philosopher Henry Thoreau said to the effect, something along the lines that ‘not til we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations’. Should you? Can you? It may be the best thing you will ever do for yourself. You. To find yourself. The real you. Not a pretend you, the real you.
Back to the question: how do I know when I am me? Maybe, its something we cannot define. Maybe, we’ll notice it when we’ll see it … like when we see nature in action. The immense beauty of everything nature has to offer … from the beauty found in a snowflake to the thunderous roar of thunder to the scorching heat of deserts, to the ebb and flow of the sea tide to the myriad of examples of the beauty that is everywhere in nature. We can never have enough of nature, I think. You never tire of the more obvious ones, like a sunset or a sunrise. Just like nature, we can never have enough of beauty.
Nature does not pose any questions and gives no answers to any which we may ask, but we live and breathe it, nature that is, if we just stop for but a second to appreciate it. You can see, smell, taste, hear, feel that everlasting something to which we are all drawn to. Like a magnetic attraction, ever drawn towards the power that is .. the universe. And all of its glory, and all of its beauty, in every sense of the word.
So, that may be the answer to the question you ask yourself after you have accepted your name, the question of ‘how do I know when I am me?’. You will just know it, like you know it when you see it or hear it. Like beauty or being in tune. Beauty in nature. Beauty in life. Beauty is universal. They say that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. So be it. Immerse yourself in yourself. Immerse yourself in you. Immerse yourself in nature. Immerse yourself in life. You have to trust you and above all else, believe that there is a name or tune for you.
Maybe, name-changing is not your thing. That’s ok. Knowing you. Knowing the real you and appreciating your own uniqueness, your own beauty brings you closer to being more aware of being you. Perhaps, you don’t need an extreme measure like changing your name to re-create yourself, to have a new-beginning, a new start.
For the New Year, maybe you just need to set some new goals, not many, just a handful, based on the priorities you have at this particular point in your life. Then, break these goals down to sub-goals or ‘bite-sized pieces’ which have specific focus areas. Set some key habits that will help you achieve these sub-goals, done on a daily basis and maybe monitoring them regularly, like weekly, monthly etc. You can refer to my earlier blog on this: “the Power of Habitual Self-Regulatory Behavior”.
This of course, is just a suggestion. A suggestion that you don’t have to go to an extreme thing like changing your name, if that is a marker, a drawing of a line in the sand, of a ‘new you’. I think, to some extent, as long as you are living your life, with beauty and balance in mind, you are never in danger of leaving this planet, with people thinking or rather, having a perception of you, that you had lived a life that was less than real. That you were a pretender.
That you were a fake?!
Appreciate the beauty in nature. Appreciate all that you have and can experience. Appreciate the beauty in you.
Find your tune. Find beauty. Find your balance. Find you.
All the best for 2014.