“You are not who you think you are nor the person other people perceive you to be. You are a mystery and definitely you’ll never really know who you are.”
Who are you? This is a common question we are accustomed to hearing from job interviews to social events. We all have an identity and this identity is in some way fluid except for the fact that we case it in a name. So when we meet and you ask me who I am, I’ll eagerly respond with my name. What if that name was already spelled out?
Yesterday as part of our Ryculture Research Task Force meeting personal development discussions we delved on the topic of self awareness and as you can guess we started with that basic question and in this context you are to introduce yourself to people who know you. Assume somebody asking you who you are and mentioning your name in the question, “Who are you Davy?” It’s a bummer right? Well, that’s the genesis of self-awareness and as basic, outright and definite this may sound it’s one thing we all struggle with. Consciously or unconsciously.
You and I have an identity we presume to be who we are but in reality we may never be in touch with who we really are. At the same time, everyone who has ever crossed our paths since childhood to this very moment has an idea of who we are and these are super conflicting and reinforcing in bits. Ultimately, our idea of who we are, what others perceive us to be and what we say we are is genuinely and sincerely not who we are. Then who are we? I honestly have no idea. All I can say is that we are complex, multifaceted and evolving/transforming in nature. We can’t be put or rather we can’t put ourselves in a box and claim to be that finite being.
What’s there for us then when it comes to self-awareness?
As much as we don’t know who we are and may never know we should strive to understand some of the basic principles that drive our entire being. Our experiences through life in most cases define us e.g. using a career as an identity, social relations (brother, son, husband, sister, daughter, wife, father, mother, cousin, nephew, niece etc.) among others. In all these there are ideals that we hold onto and these guide how we relate, interact and live our lives. We should get to develop a clear understanding on what values are in tune with our souls.
Second, with our values in place we have the responsibility to embrace the very fact that we will have to define ourselves in various settings. This identity will strive to suit the circumstance but may it never let go of your ideals for when it does, you become a shell of a being. A vessel with no soul. A headless chicken at the least.
Finally, we are human and being human means we are social beings in nature. Our relations are therefore anchored on our identity as human beings and further reinforced by our identity at the basic level. Use yours to your advantage and for the betterment of human experiences.
As I sign off, being a weekend I suggest you take a moment to reflect on who you are because I know we rarely do. By knowing yourself better you’ll know the extent to which you can go, what you can tolerate or withstand and most importantly your limits.
“Embrace ignorance, stay curious and strive to understand yourself. Being defined is against the scientific principle of evolution that makes us better. We must consciously strive to master ourselves and grow as we do so.”