November 2013 ~ Who Do You Think You Are?
November 2013 ~ Who Do You Think You Are?
Are you a busy executive who keeps on top of everything?
Are you a frazzled middle manager who is pushed by everyone and seemingly in control of very little?
Are you a busy parent trying to balance the needs of children with the demands of the workplace?
Are you a college student just starting on a career?
Are you thinking about retirement and chucking all the business ‘stuff’ for a life with less stress?
Have you lost a job and aren’t how to find your way to something that uses your gifts, skills and talents?
Are you concerned about where you fit in a world that seems to be going in a direction that is not what you want to see?
Most of us will find ourselves in some or all of those positions over our lifetime. Human beings are very complex individuals and over time, we change, we grow, we regress, we slow down, we move faster, we relax, we stress, we struggle and we enjoy our lives.
We are made up of many moving parts — sometimes, they work together and sometimes it seems that the various parts of our self are warring among the facets.
More than 2,000 years ago, Socrates said, Know Thyself. It was good advice in his day and still good advice today.
What does it take for us to be happy? There are many, many theories and in our current culture, there are a multitude of marketing ploys that will tell us that buying a specific product will make us happy. Those products won’t make us happy for very long because they don’t get to the truth of who we are.
The truth is, we are happiest when we are doing what is best for us. What is best for each person is an individual thing — as different for each person as a snowflake is different from every other snowflake. We are each individual and unique human beings, made up of different physical bodies, different personalities, different beliefs and different needs.
We may find that we like one thing when we are working and another thing when we are with friends and another thing when we are with family and another thing when we are relaxing.
We have many facets to the "us" that is the collection of attributes making up the person we call "me."
Over our lifetime, we will encounter many different ways of "measuring" or "evaluating" this person called "me." Some of them will categorize us into colors or words or traits or grades or scores or rankings or puzzle pieces or archetypes. Each of them can offer us something of value and each one will group us with others "like" us, yet not completely like us. Each of them can teach us something and each can help us stretch to learn more about our self and others.
Who we are today is also a derivative of all that came before us: our parents, grandparents and distant ancestors. Within our DNA, we carry codes that will be passed onto our children, grandchildren and all of our physical descendants. The Universe has a very complex method of passing along those physical traits, tendencies and proclivities, sometimes shuffling them from one generation to another like a random game of cards.
Our parents, families, teachers and caregivers pass along certain cultural habits and ways of being or doing that are so ingrained in us that we are often not conscious of what they are. Our religious beliefs, our social beliefs, our political beliefs and our philosophical beliefs may come to us unconsciously. We may consciously choose to change from what we were taught over time to something slightly different than our parents, or we may try to become radically different from our parents.
What we like when we are in college may turn out to be very different from what we like when we are at the peak of our career or when we retire.
As human beings, we have many things in common with all other human beings: we need to love and be loved, we need to feel safe, we need to eat, we need to rest, we need to play, we need to work, we need to study, we need to communicate, and we need to feel good about what we do and who we are.
With all these complexities — and we have just scratched the surface — how can anyone begin to know who they are?
The simple answer: start where you are now.
Within those questions is the key to start knowing more about yourself. There are many, many tools and processes and systems available in the world today to assist with the process of self-discovery. There are so many that we could not possibly identify all of them, so we won’t try. Each person will find their own way to what works best for them.
This month, when we celebrate Thanksgiving in this country and being grateful for all that we have:
May each day bring you new blessings and new awareness about the magnificent person you are.
Related newsletter article:
“When you're different, sometimes you don't see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn't.” ― Jodi Picoult, Change of Heart
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” .. ― C.G. Jung
“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ― C.G. Jung
“I think that we are like stars. Something happens to burst us open; but when we burst open and think we are dying; we’re actually turning into a supernova. And then when we look at ourselves again, we see that we’re suddenly more beautiful than we ever were before!”― C. JoyBell C.
“I have been and still am a seeker, but I have ceased to question stars and books; I have begun to listen to the teaching my blood whispers to me.”― Hermann Hesse, Demian
“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” ― Lao Tzu
“You've always been what you are. That's not new. What you'll get used to is knowing it.” ― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel
“It takes courage...to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.” ― Marianne Williamson, Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"
“You don't need anybody to tell you who you are or what you are. You are what you are!” ― John Lennon
“As you become more clear about who you really are, you'll be better able to decide what is best for you - the first time around.” ― Oprah Winfrey, The Uncommon Wisdom of Oprah Winfrey: A Portrait in Her Own Words
“The greatest thing in the world is to know how to belong to oneself.” ― Michel de Montaigne, The Complete Essays
“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” ― Carl R. Rogers
About our resource links: We do not endorse or agree with all the beliefs in these links. We do keep an open mind about different viewpoints and respect the ability of our readers to decide for themselves what is useful.
Page updated: May 26, 2015
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