Updated: May 31
It’s only later in life where we might look back and say, “I wish I’d have known that then,” or “I wish I’d have done that,” even “If I could go back in time”. These might be something that you have said, mainly because you may want to change something that you did, or you might want to pursue an alternative way of doing things, even a career. We don’t say these as youngsters or teenagers, even as young adults, you rarely, if at all, hear anyone say them.
It’s only when we’ve gained a certain number of experiences in life, gone through ups and downs and taken on a whole load of information that we start to look at life itself, and especially the ‘who I am’ part. Irrelevant of your age, your upbringing or your background, there comes a time where we all look at our life to date and conduct some internal analysis on what we’ve done, how we’ve been, and where we are going.
Having carried out some research prior to writing this book, this self-analysis really starts to occur when you’re hitting your 40’s and 50’s. Some might say mid-life crisis, even regrets or doubts, this might be the case for some, but maybe not for others. For me personally, I don’t feel I have any regrets, they’ve been life experiences that have brought me to where I am now, and that for me is all I’m focused on, being mentally strong to be the best version of myself and making the necessary adjustments in my life to stay there mentally. That requires experiences, it requires discipline, self-motivation, a positive mindset as well as ensuring you have passion and purpose. If you don’t have the latter two, then what exactly is the point?
Are you just going through life day to day without any real meaning for yourself or what you’re doing? Life is not a rehearsal, the years of 2020 and 2021, significantly showed us all how precious life is and the one chance we have, so we need to make the most of it and be the best that we can be in everything that we do. In the present day, personal development has grown to be a major focus for so many people, in fact it’s grown to be a way of life for some such are the key benefits that can be gained. These can even be achieved with only minimal personal and life adjustments, a little bit of time and effort from yourself as I mentioned in the previous chapter, it’s a small price to pay for self-happiness.
We’ve all gone through a time of what could be classed as the most challenging of our lives, Covid-19 has brought so much pain to many, so many obstacles and restrictions, so many unknowns that none of us expected, wanted, or appreciated for that matter. Our lives were impacted greatly, kids unable to go to school, travel was hit and hit hard, and so too were people’s jobs and careers. Regardless however of being unprepared for such a catastrophic and damaging pandemic, maybe now is your time to be different, just maybe this is now your time to prosper, but first you need to identify who you are, and once you determine that, then you’ll start to find your passion and your purpose.
Maybe you haven’t given too much thought to it, or you might now be at a point in your life where you are asking yourself the questions of ‘who I am, what am I doing, and where am I going’. We don’t all roll out of school or college and land the job of our dreams. We don’t all have wealthy parents or a trust fund that we can tap into, to help us through life. For most, we need to work for it, navigating our way through the complexities that life brings, and we need to define who we are and what we want out of life; this happens both at a young age and as an adult too. There have been a few times that I’ve personally asked myself these questions, mainly through a couple of tough periods in my life, but now I know exactly who I am, what I’m doing and where I’m going, and with that brings a clearly defined vision and focus.
Defining who you are and what you are about are paramount to your happiness and successes. Identifying your vision and your goals, both in your personal life and career, are key elements of your personal development and fulfilment and what you can get out of life. For many however, the importance of looking at themselves doesn’t apply because for some, they are completely fine with how they are and what they do, but there will probably come a point where that changes and they start to question things, their passion and purpose seem to be lost in translation as they seek out answers.
We spend so much of our lives living by what is defined as normal, and pass judgment on ourselves and others based on this. Whether we try to be normal, determine that we are better than normal, or condemn ourselves as worse than normal. Nonetheless, if we think about what is normal, we are usually living a life in a comfort zone, with no growth or vision of personal success and little chance of achieving it. Everyone struggles to figure out who they truly are — don’t think that they don’t, it just comes to us all at varying times of our lives, and it’s not something that everyone will openly share with others.
Letting friends, family, and even colleagues know that you may be struggling with something can be viewed as a weakness, so when it comes to the question of ‘who we are,' it will often be dealt with internally by ourselves. When people define themselves, they focus on the negative or how they compare to other people, this especially isn’t helped by social media and seeing others living healthy and glamorous lives, but most aren’t living in the real world I’m afraid. Nobody but you can define who you are; you know your limits, you know your mind, and you know what makes you tick, and you need to know exactly what your passion and purpose is in life.
One of the greatest challenges we face when we try to improve ourselves, whether as individuals, partners, friends, family members or even as an employee, is the challenge of changing the way we define ourselves. I must have heard this phrase a thousand times: “It’s just the way I am”. But, as we keep saying things like this, what we really mean is “It’s just the way I’m always going to be” and that’s because many don’t want to ask themselves some hard questions and change their habits or lifestyle, even if it means being more productive. It’s as if some people think they can’t ever change, but we can all change who we are if we aren’t happy with ourselves.
We can all change our behavior and mindset by defining who we are. As I’ve already said, you are the CEO of your life; you make the key decisions as to what is best for the running of it, so you need to take the time to effectively strategize. If you allow a relationship to define you, for example, you will end up losing your identity and if you’ve allowed that then you don’t have an identity.
Read more in my book 'The Fortitude Warrior' at https://www.glenburton.com/the-fortitude-warrior
Copyright 2022 by Glen Burton. All Rights Reserved.