A few years ago on a random Saturday, I caught Deepak Chopra’s segment called Help Desk on the Oprah Winfrey Network. He sat in the middle of Madison Square Park and basically answered random life questions that people asked him. Now, for someone who is terrible at remembering everything from birthdays to proper table etiquette, I remember this well. Really well. Because one of his answers stuck with me. Not only did I memorize his now famous quote, but I raced to the self-help section on Amazon and purchased a few of his books. What Dr. Chopra said was this:
Be the change you want to see in the world.
At that particular time, I was in the infancy stages of better health and wellness. I was working out regularly, sleeping well, eating better, and drinking less; all of which were totally out of character for me. But after years of being the life of the party and first on the buffet line, it was time to turn the page. And though I was in the middle of this life altering metamorphosis, I must admit that there was a certain level of resistance and skepticism from people around me. Whether those feelings were actual or perceived, I don’t know. But the quote implied that was there was no reason to kick and scream your message for the world to hear. So I took it as such: commit to hard work, evolve into the best version of yourself and one day, people will take notice (even if they’re only complimenting you in their head).
I can’t be sure if this is what Dr. Chopra actually meant. I could only take it and apply it to my personal experiences accordingly. But it got me thinking about the power of persuasion. After researching a myriad of quotes and their meanings, I soon found that this quote (and my all-time favorite saying) was hardly said by Chopra but, instead, Gandhi. But then a NYT op-ed piece I read informed me that Gandhi had never said those exact words, it was more so an implied sentiment to his beliefs. Who knew a spiritual guru could be paraphrased? Now I began questioning whether I should have liked all those cheery IG memes and spiritual FB posts. Is that really what Maya Angelou said? What exactly was Aristotle talking about? Oh, so that’s not what Thoreau meant? WTF?
In life, I’m finding that the importance isn’t about the wise words of others but how I interpret them so they ring true to me. I could repost famous quotes all I want but that won’t make me an enlightened person. I could identify with someone else’s passion but that won’t make me passionate. And I could think all I want about the perspectives of thinkers, poets and writers but what about what I think?
So here are the words that I live by: make this the life you want to live. Be better than you were yesterday. And live not by the words of others (or their implied sentiments), but solely the ones of your own. #truth
Latest posts by Leslie Dimaya (see all)
- WISE WORDS AND FAMOUS QUOTES - December 4, 2015
- IN THE SPIRIT OF GIVING MAHALO - November 26, 2015
- LESSON #28845: WHEN YOU MOVE MILES AWAY TO PARADISE - November 17, 2015