Wednesday, August 3, 2016

How to Be You by Jeffrey Marsh, online sensation

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This book is about how to finally give up on feeling bad about yourself and discover the best person you can be.

An interactive experience, How to Be You invites you to make the book your own through activities such as coloring in charts, answering questions about how you do the things you do, and discovering patterns in your lives that may be holding you back. Through Jeffrey's own story of "growing up fabulous in a small farming town"--along with the stories of hero/ines who have transcended the stereotypes of race, age, and gender--you will discover that you are not alone, can deepen your relationship with yourself, and find the courage to take a leap that will change your life.

About the Author

Host, author, and youth advocate Jeffrey Marsh has more than a quarter BILLION views across social media. As the creator of the global trends #DontSayThatsSoGay and #NoTimeToHateMyself, Jeffrey has earned spots on top Viner lists by both BuzzFeed and Vine with a positive, inclusive message. In 2015, Jeffrey was named official red carpet correspondent for both MTV/Logo and GLSEN and as a featured writer for The Huffington Post and Medium. Jeffrey is a precepted facilitator in the Soto Zen tradition of Buddhism, as well as a host, actor, singer, songwriter, dancer, and comedian.


Sorry! Perfection doesn’t exist. Whoever taught you what it means to be “perfect” was making it up. Whoever taught them was making it up too. Perfection is a phony concept. It’s a phony set of standards. Where did the standards come from? How did they start? You can’t always be sure where your ideas about how you should be came from, but one thing to notice is that perfection often has a shifting definition. Over time, we as a society change our standards. And, yes, over time, you as an individual change your ideas about how to be perfect. What you think is the “perfect person thing to do” now may change in five years. It may change in five minutes. “Perfect” is a shifting, unclear, unreliable set of standards. Because of this, you will never meet the fake standards of perfection. This is awesome news! As soon as you give up the quest to be perfect according to some outside standard, you can start being you. Holy wow, I feel like that’s so im­portant I need to say it again. As soon as you give up the quest to be perfect according to some outside standard, you can start being you.

And there is a good reason you can’t meet the standards. You are a living, breathing human. That’s why no one can meet the standards. You are not some caged, bottle-able, sellable set of never-changing qualities. You are alive. And alive things change. It is constantly, always what you do. So you can either embrace change and get ex­cited about it—you can even start to love it—or you can try every­thing to freeze yourself into a perfect set of standards. Good luck with that second one. You can’t actually freeze yourself. But so many people just keep trying to freeze themselves; they keep trying to get to that perfect spot where they can be frozen and perfect and every­thing about their lives will work because they’ve done all the right things. Excuse me, but what kind of weird goal is that? Since when does trying to meet some passed-down fake standard of perfect equal a nice life?

It doesn’t. It equals a life of constantly trying. You might keep striving for an idea of perfection for the rest of your life. Many people do. And it is not worth it.

You’ll never get there. The standards for perfection shift and morph and climb so astronomically high that they are unattainable. Why spend your precious life trying to do something impossible?

It is not fun. Fun might not seem like an important criterion here, but why do something that is so unpleasant? If you could try to be perfect your whole life and have an awesome time doing it (even though it will never work), I’d say, “This is great. I’m so glad you’re having so much fun. Yippee!” But of course trying to meet false and shifting standards is actually the setup to making a bummer of your whole life.

I have a question. What’s the one thing about yourself that you were taught to hate? What’s the biggest thing that you were taught is imperfect about you? Have you struggled with that thing your whole life? Have you tried to change and change and change that thing? Would you call trying to change that thing fun?

The same thing goes for your life in general. It isn’t fun to try to control your circumstances; you can’t try to “make perfect” outside events so that you can feel more perfect inside. Making your outside environment perfect is unlikely to work because you can hardly control yourself, let alone anyone or anything else you see outside you. Your idea of perfection is based on a faulty assumption: that you are separate from the world and can judge how it should be. What if life has its own kind of perfection in it without your “help”? What if you, just as you are, are part of life’s perfection?

Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: TarcherPerigee (August 2, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143110128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143110125

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