Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Who Am I?

Who am I? is one of the longest standing questions entertained by mankind. It is so poignant that the answer to it shapes your choice of career, home, friends, spouse, etc. More importantly, it shapes your thoughts, conversations and actions. The inability to answer that question can send you on an endless journey of empty paths that may never provide fulfillment. 

Perhaps many people venture on the endless journey because they are asking the wrong question. Perhaps it is not important to know 

who you are today. That person can become obsolete in the course of one year or less. Therefore, it may be more important to ask who you want to be in the future.

If you can visualize who you want to be, your thoughts, conversations, actions, friends, dwelling place and career will be shaped by that vision. The knowledge you acquire will have a purpose. And your passion will increase as you progress towards the ideal of yourself.

At the same time, because you have chosen to develop yourself into someone you have never been, you may encounter obstacles you have never had to handle in the past. At that point, your ideal person can appear to be more effort than it is worth.

While there is no simple solution, an empowering approach can be to uncover what you stand for. That way you put your stake in the ground. Your stand is a powerful way to shape your actions. It also helps others understand how to interact with you. 

In an example of a corporation’s stand, Procter & Gamble has demonstrated their stand Pampers. Pampers had become a commodity. It was an inexpensive disposable diaper. P&G wanted to distinguish themselves amongst other disposable diapers. They reconstituted themselves as a stand for babies’ development. With that stand, they have put together a number of workshops for parents and expecting parents about child development, breast feeding, infant health, etc. Even their commercials promote their stand.

In an individual example, Genghis Khan, while is he considered a warmonger, stood for human rights. Many of his war campaigns were in service to the safety of others. When people were being persecuted for their religious practices, they would ask for Genghis’ protection. Before he agreed to fight for them, he would conduct a meeting with his entire army of 90,000 and the people of his village to state the case for protecting freedom of religion for others. His commitment was to hear the pros and cons for going to battle for another nation or province. That was his method for gaining alignment from his people as well as ensuring he did not violate their rights. He used the same method when he received word that trade routes had become dangerous because thieves and murderers were attacking merchants. 

While discovering who you are can be a lifetime endeavor, you can put your stake in the ground in a way that it lets the world know whom you want to be known as. In some ways, it is easier to work towards becoming the person you always wanted to be, instead of figuring out who you are today. By taking an undying stand for who you want to be, you create the possibility of becoming unstoppable.

What do you stand for? 

What do you think? I’m open to ideas. Or if you want to write me about a specific topic, let me know. 

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