We are a society of numbers — Social Security Number, telephone number, license number, address, weight, height, credit score, GPA, age, clothing size, shoe size, employee number, income, debt, ACT, SAT, school ID, password…the list goes on. Add to it as you wish. We are surrounded by numbers and there is no escape from them! Numbers are an integral and inextricable part of our lives; we have no life without a number somewhere, period. Some are in our control and others are not; that is a fact of life and I see no chance of that changing anytime soon. Yes, like it or not, our lives boil down to a series of numbers and the list is continually growing, so get used to it! (Doesn’t that sound all rosebuds and sweetness?! haha)
Ok, Ok, Ok, so it is not all that bad and the numbers aren’t really out to get us…BUT how much power do they have OVER us? Think about it. I would chance to say that at least one — probably several — of the numbers I listed above send a you screaming or cringing in horror…Yeah, that one in particular… Perhaps another one — or two — fill you with immense pride and happiness for whatever reason. If I am like most of you, (and for this I believe I am) we have a few that we wish were bigger, longer or stronger and we have others that we really want to be smaller, shorter or weaker.Others, we just want to be DIFFERENT! The specifics vary for each of us, but the emotions run the same; we cower in fear of what the numbers tell us or rejoice with how good we look through their eyes.
For some reason our society has taken this necessity for numbers and turned it into an emotionally packed mine field that even the most confident and accomplished among us cower to their authority; numbers have come to symbolize WHO we are and not just stats about us. For whatever reason, society has convinced us that if our numbers aren’t in line with a predetermined mold we are less than worthy of respect or lower on the totem pole than what “everyone” expects. My question of the day is, Who in the world decided that one set of numbers (whatever category you like) is better than another set of numbers? Think about it – in our society we cater to the rich, famous and powerful. Why? Because their numbers fit what we have been told are the “ideal” and that is what we should be emulating. Well, if you dug into their lives or their head you would find that they too are striving for a certain set of numbers and they feel the pressure too! Guarantee it!
Ok, before you think I am anti numbers or anti goal setting, I am not. I completely understand the need for numbers and identifiers and even gauges to determine where we are, BUT I also know that we do have some control over how much power we give those numbers. Others around us will always look at us with their standards, but what if we started looking at ourselves with out own standards and perspectives? How much could our lives change? It is liberating to realize that in all honesty, age is just a number and should not be in hinderance to do anything, young or old. (within in the law, of course!) The number we see on the scale does not dictate how much value we have as a person, nor do the numbers from our bank! We need to realize that we are unique, important and valued — for more than ANY number that applied to us — EVER! It is good to set goals to reach a certain number (any of your choice) and strive for improvement. That is absolutely fantastic and necessary. We just need to cut ourselves some slack. My numbers will never match those of anyone else because I am a different person and I am ok with that. Actually I am better with that than I have ever been before today; I am also still on a journey to learn just what that means for me. This is a journey and not a one day thing — the process is just that — a process.
If we are to have a chance at happiness and contentment in our lives, we need to refocus our expectations; we MUST realize that while numbers APPLY to us, they do not DEFINE us. We are more than our income, greater than our debt load and stronger than our number on a scale. We are unique, strong, important and intelligent individuals that have an intrinsic value that only we can offer. We need numbers to help identify ourselves from others, so why turn it around and try to fit int to be like others? Once we realize that they truly are just a series of numbers we reclaim the power to be who we are –unique, special and one of a kind! Perfect? Of course not! That is just another number…and who really wants that pressure anyway? Not me.
Let’s see what’s next…Thanks for reading!