Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Be Yourself? Nah

There are many problems with the clichéd piece of advice you hear every half an hour all across the globe: Be yourself. Whilst spoken with the best of intentions (and certainly communicating a much-needed friendly demeanor on the part of the speaker) this phrase happens to be:
  1. Not specific enough; in principle, it can hardly pinpoint anything (e.g. which part of myself should I be?)

  2. Far from calming or relaxing the intended recipient; it usually distracts

  3. Contradictory to other advice (e.g. "You shouldn't make it a habit to XYZ...")
Personally? I think advice like, "Imagine you're one of those hotshot lawyers in Boston Legal!" would come in handier. At least this creates a specific image which gets specific neural connections firing making a specific inclination/mood/disposition more likely.

In other words,
model someone else in order to improve yourself.

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