So who are you? Really, Who are you? Have you ever had to ask yourself that question? If not, ask yourself now, who am I?.
For me, I am one in more than 7 billion people in our beautiful mother earth. Unique yet the same as any other you’ve ever met, special yet relatively generic, I stick out like a sore thumb but I also fit in so well you can easily miss me in the crowd.
What is it that makes me “Me”? This is a conundrum I’ve struggled with for longer than I can remember.
It wasn’t until recently I stumbled upon a video talk where the host asked the question “What’s your why?”. What is my why? I thought to myself, what could he possibly mean by what is your why?
Why? Just 3 letters and yet so much weight. So much depth. So much insight. Broad and far-reaching in its implications.
You see, we live in a world unlike any other; with each generation, with each passing decade, everything is always changing and this includes people’s identity; a lack of understanding of their true origin. This reminds me of a childhood story of a lion raised by sheep. Formed the habits of sheep – fearful, weak, vegetarian, and even bleating – to the point he lost every semblance of lions save his physical appearance.
This is a sad story especially when you are fully aware of the sheer awesomeness of a lion. Even more sad is the fact that the case of this lion is the reality of most of our lives.
Who are you in a world that has grown you just the way it wants you to be? Are you one of those that have chosen to live under the weight of the dogma of society? or among the very few who have chosen to carve their own path and create their own identity?
Either way, it’s a choice you have made. But know this, the potential for greatness that lies within you is unfathomable. Just as was the case of our lion.
Lost At Sea
Even the volume of books cannot contain the too-many identities the world tags us with. Weak, slow, dumb, ugly, fat, single, poor, short, angry, black etc. It’s easy to be drowned in the ocean of identities the world is waiting to impose on us. Born to a family you didn’t choose, given a name without your consent, and sent into a world naked and weak.
This is reminiscent of a ship lost at sea. The heavy winds tossing it about. The waves constantly deviating it from its true north. Time wasted, effort with no result, discouragement set in, hopes dashed.
How do you stand against a world that wants to shape you in its mold? How do you find meaning living in a world that has already chosen who you are? How do you break free from the mold and reveal your true identity? How do you find your true north?
Lets consider this from the perspective of how you would want to be remembered when you finally leave this earth. What idea of you would matter the most?
Would it be the fact that you found the cure to a terminal disease thereby saving millions of lives today and years to come? Would it be that like Mother Theresa, your labor of love saved the lives of many children in the inner cities and restored hope for their future? what would it be? how would you want to be remembered?
However you choose, therein lies your life compass, your purpose, your reason for living, the energy to wake up in the morning and choose to try it one more time, the zeal to refuse to accept less than the best.
You see, this is singly the most important thing in any person’s life. Once you find it, no one can take it away from you. It’s literally the best thing that can happen to anyone.
Equally, a lack of purpose or inability to find your why, is singly the most dangerous thing that can happen to any person. You find yourself tossed to and fro by the waves just like the case of the ship above. You believe everything, jump into everything, try to please everyone. This is the attitude of a child – someone who has not come to maturity. Someone that lacks discernment.
Finding your ‘why’ helps you focus and channel your energy to the right things.
Don’t beat yourself up when you faulter
The truth is that you might not immediately identify your purpose in life. That is why you even need to start early in seeking it out.
Also, it is important to know that in your effort to discover your purpose, you will find yourself doing things you thought were your true purpose but later on, realize that they really don’t carry that energy level or impact in your sense of worth. This is a mistake you will make. Don’t beat yourself up when this happens.
The greatest giants in recent times have made mistakes. We as humans are some of the most extraordinary creatures alive today. Many wild animals can learn and adapt from their past mistakes but none can do it as intelligently, as effectively, as tenaciously and as stubbornly as humans.
Our growth through the years has shown this to tower above all else. So don’t ever shy away from your mistakes, don’t come to hate the bad choices you’ve made, because they only serve to redirect you in the right path for your life.
Purpose will bring meaning to your life. Through it, a new drive to achieve things and progress will be ignited in you. Embrace your purpose, let it be the compass that drives your life and decisions. Allow yourself to flourish and see the very best of you presented to the world.
Marianne Williamson puts it in a clear and inspiring way. She wrote, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
I challenge you to step out from your comfort zone and seek out your why. When you find it, work to create unshakable meaning. Rise above your former self and let the world see your full glory.
Don’t forget to stretch out an arm of help to those who once were like you – Lost At Sea.