Are you the same person you were 10, 20, 30 or 40 years ago?
Yes, of course life has changed, perhaps you graduated high school or college, maybe married, with or without kids, possibly relocated...several different jobs, a newly found career... but who are you?
Sometimes "LIFE" causes us to pause, forcing us to readjust our thoughts or direction, either to get ourselves to the next level, or sometimes even just to survive. During those moments, do you stop and think: "What am I really all about? What makes me happy? What drives me? What am I striving for? What do I really want? Where do I want to be? Well, in those normal questions, is always the foundation: "WHO AM I?"(really).
We are often unsettled in our hearts until we find our PURPOSE, but how does one "find" that? Some are blessed enough to discover it along their journey, however, most are still on the hunt. As we search, we usually get slowed down, feeling stuck, being a victim of "circumstances".
What if the self- discovery process can be broken down into easy, manageable parts? What if you didn't have to answer such big questions all the time, with big, thought out answers? What if "LIFE" could be simple?
Many of us look back at the "simple days" and daydream of what once was. But truly think about that! In those "simple days", was it really all that "simple"? Life had the same up and downs, you were thrown curve balls, you overcame challenges, you were disappointed, brokenhearted, anxious or scared... The only thing that was "simple" in days past, is you were JUST YOU.
The digital world and social media this past decade added a layer of expectations on you. In the "simple past", you weren't reviewing daily pics of yourself, comparing how you look from day to day or even moment to moment. You didn't know what your neighbors' house looked like inside, what they recently bought, where they went, what they are eating, what they look like every phase of their day... you just focused mostly on YOU, and what makes you feel good -how you were comfortable. You really only concerned yourself with the self image you wanted to step out into each day of the real world with. And most of the time, what you put out there was CHARACTER more than appearance or possessions. Each morning you looked in the mirror instead of your phone screen and simply asked WHO AM I? And what am I going to accomplish today?
I have a childhood best friend that I meet up with only several times a year. As we reconnect each time, she always seems amazed, "Wow! You're saying the EXACT same things you were saying when you were 18!". I started to really focus on that. Her comment didn't seem so unusual at 28. But then again at 38? And now 48?
This time, with much more CHANGE in my life, being married and divorced, having two teenagers, experienced plenty of loss of family and friends, evolved career, endless jobs and people coming and going... REALLY? Am I really the same person, saying the same things, as that 18 year old?
The answer is YES!
There may be a long list of reasons why one would grow, or "change", however, let's focus on what may have stayed the same. Character. Integrity. Personality. Beliefs. Your Upbringing. Values. ... even your Dreams.
I have my own quotes of "evolving" and have published many posts about being open to change, however, being forced in more moments of PAUSE, I have realized how much has stayed the same- even through all the decades of "change".
When you look back at photos, memories, relationships, habits, and ask yourself "What was I doing? What made me happy? Who was I with or surrounded by? What job did I have? What did I own?... you can start to pinpoint a connection to the person you are TODAY, and who you want to be TOMORROW, with "WHO WAS I?" - back then.
Here's where it gets interesting and why I am bringing this up.
In the moments of this Global PAUSE and movements for CHANGE, we all seem to be at the same place right now of re-evaluating what's important to us. We're all asking ourselves the same questions: What will make me and my family happy during these trying times? How can I come out of all of this being the best version of ME? How can I make the most for myself, my family, those I care about, and my community? How can I rise above it all, and become successful or maintain my success? How can I make a difference? ...What should I be doing???
My answer is this: don't overwhelm yourself and think you have to have all the answers, or the perfect master plan. Start with step ONE. Simply ask: "WHO AM I?"
When you can start to answer THAT question, many other answers will fall into place.
Right before the Pandemic hit your Country, and quarantine was mandated...
Many couples may have been on the brink of splitting up. Some have rekindled their relationships (at least for now) and some are more convinced, now more than ever, it's time to make the move and officially split.
Many individuals were on the verge of leaving their jobs, or trying to make a change seeking a better commute, more money, more feeling of self accomplishment.
So many people were not happy with themselves, their appearance, their weight, and was creating their plan of attack, or just starting to get into the swing of things.
Some may have been in their glory days of money, success, career, love...life in general, yet have been forced to start all over from ground zero, or close to it.
You may personally be on the fence, left wondering NOW WHAT?, or being forced to re-think your HOW TO plans for any of the above.
Here's some clarity.
When you ask yourself WHO DO I WANT TO BE?, don't only look at WHO I AM NOW, look at WHO WAS I - back then? and know that fundamentally you are the same person.
Therefore, "Who do I want to be" is not really the question you should be asking yourself, or focusing on, especially when times in today's dynamics are too confusing and unreliable. You might feel too overwhelmed or spinning your wheels. Instead, you should be asking "WHO WAS I - back then?", (10, 20, 30 or even 40 years ago), with the following questions:
1. Do I miss who I was back then? Would I like to be that person again? Did someone fall in love with me the way I was THEN? When was I on fire? When did I feel like I can tackle the world?
2. Have I fallen out of love with myself and/or have the people around me, fallen out of love with ME?
3. Has life put restrictions on how much I can truly be myself? Does my partner or situation help me to get ME back? Does he/she, my lover, friend, organization or boss help support the time and resources for me to simply JUST BE ME?
4. Do I have the right people or situations in my life? Not only because they compliment me, provide (something) for me, or make life easy for me... How about establishing those relationships that embrace the GENUINE ME. Encourages ME to be ME, makes ME, the inner me- a priority.
In a world of so many open questions and uncertainties right now, there is ONE thing that you certainly CAN control, and that is YOU: WHO YOU ARE.
I always tell my children: "Control what you can control". That statement certainly applies to many situations, however, the most important is what becomes of YOU.
I suggest you take a little more time to get comfortable in your own skin. Start setting more realistic expectations of yourself and of those around you. That, by NO MEANS translates to SETTLE for ANYTHING! It means it's easier to get closer to the best version of YOU, when you look back and ask yourself WHO you really are?
It means that to get closer to your goals and dreams for your FUTURE is to get further away from TODAY. It means to know WHO I AM, is to rekindle WHO I WAS.
Granted, sometimes we discover the past version of you- needs to very much stay in the past. Maybe you were reckless, irresponsible or hurtful (to yourself and/or to others). Maybe you didn't know how to manage money. Maybe you simply made poor, immature choices. And THAT is not what ANY ONE hopes to bring back. Our goal is to tap into your heart, your spirit. To recognize your uniqueness, and the fundamentals of YOU- that no matter what attempt, can never shatter your soul, only challenge you or fight you. Our mission: don't fight anymore. Don't battle with yourself or others. Don't let circumstances define you. Don't act desperate or helpless. Don't let people - or ties of any kind- dim your light.
You may be closer than you think to finding your PURPOSE. It starts with being the BEST VERSION OF YOU. If you live that commitment every day, everything else will fall into place.
* My message is not a ME, ME, ME, selfish objective. They always say you are better to everyone else around you, when you take care of yourself first.
Spend a little time to stroll down memory lane. Reflect on your days past -the person you think you once was, and remember the best part of you is still in your blood. You had what it took back then, and you have what it takes now- to get ahead, to be happy, to be the GENUINE YOU. Get to know "WHO I AM", and live it, rock it, and love it!