Isn't that what we are all after? Trying to be the very best that we can? By pushing and stretching ourselves until we can take no more? All in the hope of finding that oasis in the desert, the ever elusive best self?
It is an interesting idea. One of finding our best self. It is interesting because we chase a moving goal post. The best self is elusive simply because the definition of it keeps changing. The more we do, the more we think we can do. And we chase.
If we start earning twice the amount we're currently earning, we take on another mortgage, and then think how to earn enough to be able to splurge on luxury travel while still paying those mortgages. We chase.
So, it seems that the best self is elusive. Because no matter how close we get, the goal would have moved by that much to keep us going towards it. It is like running towards a bus that is traveling at the same speed as you, and accelerates as you accelerate and slows down as you slow down.
This is the acquisition mindset to the idea of the best self. We want to go slog it out and put in the hours of hard work needed day after day so that we can be rewarded with the acquisition of the best self. This best self can mean a lot of money, fame, glory or even luxury.
The best self is indeed elusive.
But not because it cannot be acquired. But because it cannot be held.
The best self is something momentary. It is not the oasis in the desert that we can put in a daunting effort to get to and then reap the rewards. It is instead like the gentle breeze that passes by, touching everything that comes its way, and putting a smile on the faces of those it encounters. And once it fades away, it is no longer there. It is only seen when the next breeze arrives.
The best self isn't something to go after, to achieve, to acquire.
It is something to be.
It is not about doing whatever it takes to get somewhere. It is about doing right, no matter where you end up. Like the river and the summer breeze.