Your Ideal Self

Jacob J. Cohen

“The self-discrepancy theory states that people compare themselves to internalized standards called “self-guides”. These different representations of the self can be contradictory and result in emotional discomfort. Self-discrepancy is the gap between two of these self-representations. The theory states that people are motivated to reduce the gap in order to remove disparity in self-guides.”

We constantly have this inner struggle between our “actual” self and what I like to call, our “ideal” self. I think anybody with a moral conscience can attest to this.

We sacrifice long-term goals for short-term pleasures. We “just this last time” things. We rationalize. We lie to ourselves. We forfeit greatness to our “actual” self.

This internal schism manifests quite strongly in our religious and spiritual lives. We all strive to connect with the Almighty. Often times however, we completely take for granted the type of mutuality that is essential to any relationship; let alone our relationship with the Creator of the world. I know I for one, am guilty of pushing off my “ideal” relationship with God to some far away time in the future when everything’s just right. A time where I’m going to be completely connected and dialed in. A time where maybe I’m not so busy. A time that is anything but right now.

On these Aseret Yemei Teshuva in 2015, this concept of right now is more salient than ever. With our attention spans decreasing by the megabyte, I think the challenge is to finally and definitively stop doing things later.

Be your “ideal” self right now. For real this time.