So what was the shockingly controversial question? I’ll get to that. First, though, I want to focus on how we are unknowingly trained by society to put ourselves last and consider ourselves unworthy at all times. It’s not fashionable to hold your head up high and walk around with a bounce in your step. If you walk in public looking like Mickey Mouse (for seemingly no reason), you run the risk of being labeled a “lunatic”. We can’t have that, can we?
It is far more socially acceptable to walk with your head down and your eyes focused on anything but the people around you. You’re expected to put your hands in your pockets and look slightly bored or angry about something. Have your headphones on, even if there’s no music playing. This is how we stay invisible, and invisible is safe. If I’m not invisible, someone might see me. And if I’m seen, I might be judged! I’m not sure I can handle that.
Being invisible all the time is more of a problem than we realize. Not only is it super lonely, but you lose sight of your true self. You may not remember, but there was a time when you loved yourself. Somewhere along the way (probably your teenage years), you became afraid of showing your true self, and you began to hide it from the world. It eventually leads to some depression and identity issues. Inevitably you lost your joy, and you called it “becoming an adult”.
This brings us to the controversial ice breaker question. The question was: “What is your favorite thing about yourself?” Yep! There it is. I was about to reveal to a small group of peers that: I actually like myself (so uncool). What if the thing I liked about myself was something I’ve been hiding from the public (singing in my car?). Or worse, what if the thing I liked about myself was something that secretly drove others insane? Was it really OK to stand in front of an audience and talk about how awesome I think I am?
It was the weirdest thing, though. Even though I picked a nice safe thing to talk about (my sense of humor), it turned out one thing wasn’t enough. It turned out, there were actually a LOT of things I loved about myself, and I’d never been given the opportunity to really think about them and enjoy them. I’m actually quite spectacular. And you know what?
SO ARE YOU!!!
Your training exercise for this lesson is (you guessed it) to write an essay detailing the things you love about yourself. A basic essay consists of 3 parts:
- An opening paragraph that states three main points. You can have more than three if you’d like, this is all for you! However many items you want to talk about, this opening paragraph will simply list out those items.
- The middle paragraphs will describe your main points in detail. Why do you love those things about you, and when were you able to really show them off? Really enjoy yourself in this essay.
- The closing paragraph will be a recap of your main points, and you’ll end with some reflection.
I’d love for you to send me your essay (firstname.lastname@example.org), or even post a summary in the comments for the public to see. But if that’s too much for you, then at least keep the essay for yourself in your JOYkwondo portfolio, and read it often. Trust me, it’ll do wonders for your self-esteem and your general attitude towards yourself. When you love yourself, you’ll walk with so much more authority and confidence. Authority and confidence are necessary for this joy journey that you’ve started on. When you like things about yourself, you’ll begin to confidently show yourself off more. Others around you will consequently fall in love with you as well, and your confidence will draw people in and lift people up. Everyone wins!
Again, save a copy of your work and future work in your portfolio to keep forever as a memory of this journey you’ve embarked on. Someday in the future, you’ll look back at the work you put into this program, and you’ll say “I did that! I actually wrote that!”. What a celebration.
Also, don’t forget to write a Joy Journal entry tonight before you hit the sack. We’ll go over your entries at the end of this journey.