Almost everybody is trying to be somebody.
The key to ending your suffering? Stop trying to be somebody. Instead, be what you essentially are: nobody. Nobody at all.
Trying to be somebody is contrary to the Way. Being contrary to the Way, it grates with resistance and strain. Grating with both is suffering.
There’s no better way to suffer than to try to be somebody.
Trying to be somebody entails trying to be different, other, more, or better than what you already are. This is bound to lead to suffering.
“But you’re telling us to be nobody. What of my ambitions? My aspirations? My goals?” Drop trying to be somebody and then see about those. If you’re thrilled by dancing, then just dance. But don’t go on and try to make yourself into a dancer trying to make it as a dancer.
That way is the false way of trying to be somebody. A definition: you’re trying to be somebody whenever you take yourself as somebody or whenever others know you as somebody. The false way of trying to be somebody is the way of suffering.
How beautiful and wonderful it is to happily, knowingly be nobody. That way you can be however is needed to whoever appears.
Antidote? Quite simply: stop all that.
Realize: there is no one I need to be. Realize: in fact, at bottom I am nobody at all. (What is my original-nature before my parents were born?)
Realize: there is nothing I need to do (in order to be somebody). Nothing at all. Just be here in complete openness.
If you stop trying to be somebody, then being nobody (i.e., what we essentially are) will naturally disclose itself.
Then as Case 6 of The Blue Cliff Record states, life will be quite easy: “Yun-Men taught by saying, ‘I do not ask you about before the 15th of the month [i.e., about your life before enlightenment]. Come, give a phrase about after the 15th [i.e., life after enlightenment].’ He himself responded, ‘Every day is a good day.'”
Being nobody knowingly, experience each day fully: “Every day is a good day.” (*)
(*) But don’t make the mistake of making being nobody into being a second-order somebody. That is spiritual materialism for sure.