“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” George Bernard Shaw–
There’s some debate about this quote: the where, when, and who of it. The quote sounds like something Shaw would say, but it also reminds me of Eliza Doolittle, Shaw’s fictional character from Pygmalion (1912), and also in the musical spin-off, My Fair Lady (1956). I’ve always loved My Fair Lady because Audrey Hepburn is one of my favorite actresses and she played Eliza perfectly. But it’s also one of my favorites because Eliza’s story is so universal–it’s the iconic journey of self-transformation. I’ve always been inspired by people, whether real or fictional, who have radically re-defined themselves, overcome extreme challenges and difficulties, moved past self-doubt or limiting beliefs, to achieve their dreams and find immense joy.
Lessons from Pygmalion: Create Yourself!
Long before there was George Bernard Shaw’s Cockney flower girl turned into a Fair Lady, there was the original Greek myth of Pygmalion and Galatea. Pygmalion was a Cypriot sculptor, who carved the perfect woman out of stone. He named her Galatea, and then he fell so deeply in love with his creation that he begged the Greek goddess Aphrodite to give her life. Myths are stories that teach us universal lessons. Pygmalion teaches us we are all a work in process, we are creating our own Galatea. It’s up to us to sculpt ourselves and to love ourselves. We are our own creation to love!
Every day, we have decisions to make about who we are creating. We can allow the tragedies of life (deaths, loss, illness, disappointments all kinds) to harden us and turn us into cold stone. Or, we can follow the old adages and choose to live a vibrant full life:I can allow the tragedies of life harden me and make me into stone. Or I can Create My Dreams… Live Well with Zest!
- Create Your Dreams!
- Live Your Dreams!
- Be You!
For me, Shaw’s quote is a reminder to wake up every day and choose how we sculpt our own lives, how we create ourselves. It’s up to us to make the choices that will help us become our best self and live our best life.
Be You! And Live Well with Zest!
Written by Bev Hope