Last summer, I spent 24 hours in New York city. The architecture, the lights, the food – all of it – was impressive. But what most impressed me were the people. Not their kindness or keenness or coolness, but simply the vastness of their differences. They were of all sizes and shapes, languages and cultures. They moved and dressed and spoke in different and unique ways.
Amidst this sea of diversity a wonderful thought occurred to me. It is impossible to fit in.
The afterglow of this thought, which became almost a feeling, followed me into the next day, as my partner and I rented bikes and cycled around central park. I felt a deep sense of relaxation moving amongst so many people of all ages and hair styles and interests. The realization that none of us can possibly fit in amongst such diversity clarified that energy spent trying to change myself to fit in is futile; that genuinely being ourselves, even amid our quest to become better, is one of the best things we can do to contribute at our highest level. Feeling the truth of this, I felt that I belonged like never before.
To maintain this perspective, try more inner listening and less outward looking. Take time each day to hold some listening space for yourself. Why? Because as you do this you will begin to relax with who you are and who you are not. And once you do that, – once I do that, once we all do that, we are all just a little bit happier.