Hello there!

I have recently been reflecting on the beauty of humility and the amazing things that come with letting go of your own expectations and pride. It’s almost feels like you are able to experience more of your life. I never saw how much pride I carried with me until I came up against my own image and saw how obvious it was that I wasn’t who I was claiming to be. Now for me, this was a huge deal.

Being an actress for most of my life, I have always been very comfortable doing what I was doing. I almost had an air of cocky-ness about the way I worked and behaved. This cocky-ness resulted in some humor and confidence, but also frustration and entitlement. I often chose to relate to people in a way that was very volatile and unpredictable. The weirdest part about this is that I really didn’t know any other option in which to operate. I had been so used to doing it the same way for so long that I completely shut down the option of there being another way. It’s like that story about the fleas in a jar; put a bunch of fleas in a jar and stick a glass lid on it and the fleas will jump and hit the lid a few times and eventually stop jumping so high. Remove the lid and the fleas will continue to stay in the jar. They don’t know the option of jumping out exists until one of them finally does it. This changes everything for all of them. We are like that, us humans, jumping just below the non-existent lid we once came up against.

I think the purpose of life is to grow, inspire, create, relate and love. The only way we truly do these things is by being in the experience of life, looking for your failures in regards to how you are being in your life and seek to evolve, or as my friend says “transcend”.

If we have an idea of where we are going in regards to who we want to be, then we steer the ship in this direction. When we fall off course, we find the best way to adjust the wheel, turn back on course.

It is my belief that this is what sets us apart from animals, or fleas :). I also believe it is one of the most beautiful qualities we have as a species, abstract thought and the ability to inspire and be inspired.

So I encourage each of you to take a good long look at your pride in who you think you are, design who you would ideally like to be, and check in with who you practice every day. If we look at life as an experiment, the hypothesis being your ideal self and the process of experimenting being your every-moment life-choices, wouldn’t it feel a lot easier to challenge your pride? Come up against who you think you need to be? Make the top priority becoming who you want to be, and enjoying the ride?

It’s like the ultimate science fair. With people all around you on the same journey. I’m thinking there wouldn’t be as much violence and oppression. But again, maybe I am naive.

Just some thoughts on this fantastic Sunday evening.

Add yours Comments – 63

  • Vanessa (spain)

    on April 28, 2009 at 12:43 am

    I´ll try again with the one that I posted before..

    I was always very confused about what I wanted to do with my life… I knew I wanted to be happy, and I knew I wanted to be a good person. But I grew up very pessimistic, crying and thinking about how bad everything looked in the world, and thinking I could never change that and I could never be happy.

    I used to blame everyone else for every single bad thing that happened to me, and sometimes I felt that I was too good for this world… I knew there was something wrong with me, I just didn´t know what.

    But last year everything started to change in my life. I realized that I could always find happiness and beauty inside myself, and if I could do that I would be able to do it with the rest of the world. From that moment I started being more optimistic. I focused in all the good things, and I couldn´t believe how blind I had been before.

    Every night I used to write down good things of the day, and that helped me to be thankful for my life, I think for the first time ever. And after a while I learned what I really wanted to do with my life. That includes going back to college, and that´s something I´m a bit scared of, because I´ve failed before to finish any “projects” I started. But I think that´s because back then I wasn´t sure about what I wanted. Now I have a goal.

    And also, I use my pride to follow my dreams, and to see every situation in my life as an opportunity to learn something, and never think of it as a failure.

    One of the things that inspired me to change the way I saw myself and the world was this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo

  • Silvia

    on April 28, 2009 at 2:21 am

    Hi Allison,

    Well, you know, I love this kind of your postings. However, I plead guilty 😉 , for I really was pinched for time yesterday. I wanted to write a longer comment than I did. So I catch up on that now.

    I think we don’t need to let go of our pride. There’s nothing wrong about pride as long as pride doesn’t make us conceited, rude and arrogant. Every living creature on this planet has and needs some pride. For example: If you regularly look after your indoor plant and even talk to it, you can literally watch it thrive and prosper. The plant’s pride lets it grow… but… if you do the opposite, you can watch it dying.

    Take a look at those who lost their pride and see how they wither. You see, every creature needs some pride in order to live. Even nuns and monks are somehow pride – even if they’d never admit or know that. However, you are right, humility is beautiful. It is also a helping hand, for if you don’t want your pride to work sickening for you, you need to be humble – to live your pride humbly.

    The ideal self…
    Changes follow after somebody came to conclusion. It is as less difficult to see the real you as it is to see one’s ideal self. In point of fact it is quite easy, but it needs bravery for most people are afraid of what they could see. The ride to the ideal self might not be enjoyable for everyone and you have to keep in mind that you sometimes have to lose in order to win.

    However, the ride to the ideal self is like a trip to the horizon… and when the horizon is within your grasp, the end of your journey is near. Bon voyage!


  • Kimberly

    on April 28, 2009 at 5:08 am

    I love this!!! I just recently started a new job in which I have a few people reporting to me and reading this has helped me prepare for another day!

  • David Hayes

    on April 28, 2009 at 5:18 am

    I wanted to do a flea cartoon yesterday, but ran out of time and had a website mishap that’s going to cost me. Also, I made the mistake of drawing the fleas as black. I think I heard somewhere that Allison’s fleas are white as snow.

  • David Hayes

    on April 28, 2009 at 7:22 am

    Similar to the flea analogy. When an infant elephant is being domesticated, they put a chain around it’s leg and secure the elephant to a post or stake. The elephant will struggle to free its leg and finally learn that it can’t. When the elephant learns its lesson, the chain is replaced by a rope that the elephant could break … but it ‘knows’ it can’t. This training has to happen early because a mature elephant could break the chain. It has to learn early on how powerless it is so humans can control it as an adult. So … are you as powerless as you believe? What chains hold you?

  • Jennifer

    on April 28, 2009 at 7:35 am

    I haven’t heard the fleas in a jar story in a long time.

    I am just like Beth. I am all for becoming who you want to be and enjoying the ride.

  • Smallvillekent

    on April 28, 2009 at 8:12 am

    Allison, I like the flea story. Yes we all need to put aside our pride, grow be all we can and enjoy the ride.

  • arash

    on April 28, 2009 at 8:35 am

    It’s official! the new phrase is; “Think out of the jar”.
    I was just thinking what if the pixels on a Mona Lisa picture on my screen decide to think out of the jar and practice their personal freedom to be a different color.
    If everybody in this community agrees with what this blog says, then wouldn’t thinking out of the jar be opposing the idea ? It is a tricky subject.

  • Karen

    on April 28, 2009 at 11:39 am

    If you ever produce a movie about a 20-something trying to figure out her life you should call it:”Ultimate Science Fair.” That line was stellar. I really enjoy your posts Allison. They make me think about the deep stuff.

  • Marax18

    on April 28, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Thank you Allison..It’s very Nice thoughts from very Smart girl..

  • Torias

    on April 29, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Humility is what you feel when you come to one of two realizations.

    1. Exactly how small a human is in an endless universe.

    2. How much a human can accomplish in an increasingly complicated world.

  • Irene

    on April 29, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    I would love to take off this resentment I wear like a “favorite leather jacket”, and stop using it as an excuse for not being more patient, loving, or hospitable with people.

    The reason I desire this change is, because I realize that in allowing this resentment to bare down on me, the people that hurt me still influence & affect me today! THAT MAKES ME MAD!!
    and the truth of the matter is, I’m the only one that can change that.

    I have to take off the old and put on the New! you know?!

  • tn_tank

    on July 3, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    WOW… I have never viewed life in that way, as a ‘science experiment’, thanks for sharing 🙂