Whenever I would leave the house growing up, I would always hear the same thing; "Remember who you are." And while sometimes I thought my parents were just quoting "The Lion King" or telling me to be safe while I was out, it wasn't until recently that this piece of advice really stuck with me. Sorry, Mom and Dad, but at least you know I was listening right?
"Remember who you are" is a quote from one of the most famous Disney movies of all time, "The Lion King," and I have heard it for most of my life. I heard it when I would go out with friends or go out on a date and I always thought "Yeah, yeah, whatever. I know who I am, Mom and Dad." I always thought my parents just wanted to remind me not to make any stupid decisions, and while that is part of it, I know this simple piece of advice means so much more than I thought it did back in high school.
Today, in one of my classes, we were challenged to think from the perspective of our 98-year-old selves. "Think about if you were 98 and on your deathbed, what would you be most proud of in your life" my teacher asked us. After writing down three things that we thought we would accomplish in our life and that we would be proud of, she asked us if what we are doing and who we are on a daily basis lines up with what we want to be most proud of. (Yes, I am a psychology major.) This activity really got me thinking about my goals and my dreams in life and not only the material ones, either. No one on their deathbed regrets not making more money or not having an extra car. People on their deathbed regret treating people poorly, or not being there enough for their loved ones. They regret the lies and the times they hurt people.
I also started thinking about the three things written before me and wondered if I was the person who I wanted to be. Am I working hard to one day have a job I love? Am I praying daily and strengthening my relationship with the Lord? Am I bettering myself so when the man of my dreams comes along I will be able to walk with him? If you want to work a job you love, you're going to work hard to get the degree you need to get that job. If you want to have a relationship with the Lord, you're going to pray and give all your burdens and blessings to Him. And if you want to be a good mother or father, wife or husband, you must be that person and first love yourself.
It is also important that the goals you have in your life don't conflict with who you are as a person and your morals. It is important that if you have your dreams set for the stars, that you don't settle with anything less than the best. You can achieve anything you want, only if you stay true to who you are and your goals.
I think remembering who you are is important, but also remembering who you want to become is just as important. It is essential to life to have goals and dreams and to work toward those every day. If not, you are stagnant—almost moving backwards in life. In remembering who you want to be, you remember who you are.