Who am I? That is a good question. In fact, it’s question I have been asking myself quite a lot in recent times. This question can have many different answers throughout your life. More than a question, it is a riddle with endless possibilities.
The dictionary defines riddle as a question that it is difficult to understand, and that has a surprising answer, that you ask somebody as a game.
So let’s play a game together. Before continuing to read, take fifteen seconds to think about, or write down, three words about your first impressions about me so far. The first ones that come to mind, don’t let your brain take over. Let your instinct guide you, just go for it and make a note.
15 – 10 – 5 – The time is up!
Congratulations, you have just come up with some things about yourself. The way you see me, and the silent assumptions you have made, have more to say about you than about me. They can give you a clue about some of the prejudices you may have and that you don’t even know about.
I have made a pastime of finding out some of my prejudices and many other things about myself. This has been a very powerful exercise as every day I discover new things about who I am. This has allowed me to rethink some of my beliefs and change my perspective. Starting to experience life in a new way, with less suffering and more self-appreciation.
So let’s see whether you can learn something about yourself by learning about me.
Since turning 21, I have lived in 7 towns and 10 houses, had 9 jobs and travelled to 18 countries. So you could say that I have itchy feet or I am rather restless. Many people associate having the desire to pursue change as a bad thing, as if that means that you are not able to stick around long enough to do something well. I disagree. I think that the important thing is to be committed and motivated about what we do, regardless of how long that part of the journey is.
I am an accountant by profession and during my career have worked my way up in the various finance roles in multinational organisations. People often make fun of accountants for being grey and call us an anorak. You can think what you choose to. I think that to do well in life, the important thing is to be true to yourself and not necessarily following the so-called “rules of the game” that we are told are a certain way.
Going back to the question of who I am, I am many things. We all are, including you.
Who we think we are is the outcome of a lifetime of hearing others, and ourselves, telling us who or how we are. Those labels may well be accurate at times but we certainly don’t need to make a cage out of them.
I have learned that whilst we are very much affected by our personalities we can also make a lot of choices. We can try new things and surprise ourselves. If we give ourselves permission to let go of our preconceptions about ourselves, we can start to discover new identities within us: new interests, talents or desires.
For instance I have recently discovered that I really like writing poetry. To be totally honest, I am gob-smacked. Especially, taking into account that I have never liked poetry before and thought creativity was not one of my strengths. However, here I am now, writing poetry and really enjoying it.
So, now that this article is coming to an end. How accurate do you think the words you chose earlier were, considering what you now know?
I close this reflection encouraging you to stop taking preconceptions so seriously, both with yourself and with others and see what interesting things can come out of the magician’s hat.
How will you surprise yourself today?
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