If you can't find the answers you seek...

  • ...maybe you're asking the wrong questions.

    Maybe you are striving to find out how to be happy...rich...loved...needed...healthy...safe...more attractive...able to fit in...slimmer... or whatever. But instead of asking that question, try starting with this one - "Who am I?"

    Three little words. Short and sweet, but oh so juicy. If you don't answer that one first, you will never know what REALLY makes you happy, rich, lovable, secure, necessary or useful, noticed, socially acceptable, healthy etc. This is about who you are as an individual, separate from everyone else and everyone's else's expectations and desires for you or society's 'rules of behaviour'. It's not about who or what you think other people want you to be and do. It's not about who you WANT or WISH to be. Not about who you were yesterday, last year, or a decade ago. It's about who you are today, really. Because your search for answers will always be out of sync until you start living an authentic life. And that life is like no other's.

    Getting to the real YOU will not be easy. We all internalize real or imagined messages to conform, fit in, go along. We are conditioned to look outside ourselves for answers. Often a lurking “should” in the back of our minds will push us to do 'right-by-others' but 'wrong-for-us' thing. But while it isn’t easy to get to YOU, it also isn’t impossible. It takes, more than anything, a commitment to search within and to find within. It comes down to deep thinking and an 'even-through-the-fear' exploration of all that makes up YOU.

    Maybe you are used to telling people who you are based on a synopsis of your resume or a reflection of who you think they want you to be. You may not be able to answer the question, “Who am I?” because you really don’t know. But you must make the decision to figure it out. To figure YOU out. To get to know the real you. To delve into your many aspects of Self.

    Try this. For each item listed below, ask yourself, “Who am I - really - in relation to this aspect?” Think long and hard, don't just answer by rote.

    • accomplishments

    • attitudes

    • desires

    • dislikes

    • dreams

    • education

    • experiences

    • feelings

    • interests

    • knowledge

    • likes

    • mindset

    • motivations

    • needs

    • passions

    • personal characteristics

    • personality

    • preferred environments

    • skills/talents/abilities

    • strengths

    • values

    • weaknesses

    • what engages me

    • what gives me energy

    • my current situation

    • my past

    • my future

    This list may not be exhaustive, but exploring these aspects of Self should be more than enough to stop you looking outside yourself for answers, and to clearly and confidently answer the question, “Who am I?”

    After you work out the answer to this big question, two others naturally follow:

    What does a life based on who I am look like?

    How do I close the gap to live a life based on who I am?

    It all starts with the real YOU...with being willing to ask the first question and then to look within to find your right - authentic, honest - answer. From the resolution of the first question, all other answers will flow.

  • Very interesting topic. I have been asking myself the question "who am I now" since I became an empty nester. Thank you for posting the list Capt!! It will help as I rediscover who I am now

  • I saved this list to work on, thanks, very nice!

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