Are We Walking Blind?
Without knowing who YOU are, are you not practically walking blind? Given life is a journey, whose journey are you on if you don't even know yourself? Finding out who you are is definitely no easy task. Then isn't that the road you should walk? The road to find who you are? If you don't then you are practically just helping someone else build their own road.
I mean, isn't that what every person who is an employee is doing? You are getting paid to essentially build out someone else's dream/goal/whatever higher-calling. Now there is nothing wrong with being an employee, especially since apprenticeship is a necessary step to achieve mastery in something.
But it seems any action (i.e. working for money) without the purpose of finding/building oneself seems a wasteful use of time. Especially when you have the choice to do what you want and time being the only truly finite commodity.
In the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king. I'd liken the journey to find yourself is like trying to see with one-eye. I wear glasses and practically can't see faces without them so was trying to think up of something witty for about 10 minutes... but nothing. Oh well.
Phrases like "you are authentic", "live your life", and "you are a category of one" have been thrown around constantly. But it seems that such statements have just been digested and then pooped out the other end. The vast majority will say "Damn, I'm special" and then just let it pass. Many won't try to find out how they are authentic. Such a shame. Thankfully I see this as an opportunity.
I love asking myself "Who are you really?" and "What do you really want to do?". I find them tough questions to answer every time I ask it. But it seems each time I ask it my answer continues to change. I want to believe it's because I'm collecting more data points into discovering who I am. I think my answers are getting more specific as I ask myself these questions. If they aren't, I do hope I will have enough self-awareness to catch myself (wishful thoughts indeed).
Collecting data points on myself has been surprisingly easy. Most of the time there won't be a quantitative metric that will tell me "Dan, your emotion towards lifting are 94% love, 3% like and 3% questioning". But keeping track of feedback from others I trust on what I am good at and bad at, activities that give me high/low emotional energy, and moments when I catch yourself in flow state have all been valuable data points.
So.. how far am I to opening my one-eye? Given my large self-confidence I do think I can glimpse a little of the blinded running into each other. But.. how will I know if this isn't a dream? It definitely could be a figment of my imagination and I'm just an arrogant fool who thinks too highly of himself for his own good. Soooo verryy possible.. maybe even probable.
Experimenting. It may be the only way. Just like how you pinch yourself to see if you're in a dream. I've been wrong numerous times. For god's sake, I thought I had the naivety to believe I would stay at my first job as an accountant and stay within the organization to become a partner there. I honestly chuckle at myself when I think that. But without acting on my hypothesis on who I thought I was at that time I would've never known.
Sometimes the data I collected was interpreted wrong. I worked about 80-100hrs a week in my first job. Foolish me got proud of that fact. Such a fool. Even worse I interpreted that as I must be a workaholic because I was proud of it. I had high energy during that period. But I think it must have been the environment.
Y'know it's like how when you are among the heavily worked, you think it is normal. You start thinking you need the long hours to keep this "identity". But then I thought, what if this was an identity but on me by the environment? An environment that said "you will work these long hours because we need you to". Ah, back to paving the paths for someone else's journey. Sure I was also an apprentice learning a craft but that is not mutually exclusive to being the servant paving a path for someone else.
So what have I learned? I am a total fool. I will be blind even when I think I'm not. But would I have it any other way? Not at all. I mean, I'm supposed to be on this billion plus year old planet for about 100 years (fingers crossed). So, that gives me so many opportunities to continue experimenting. I have a new answer for who I think I am and what I really want to do. I may be totally wrong. But won't know till I try. With the new experience I'll be able to lay some new pavement for my own road. It's ok if I'm wrong. At least I'll know the purpose has been to figure out who I am. All for me. Selfish old me.
Action Step: I’m sure when you read through this article someone popped up in your mind. Could be a friend, a family member, a colleague or acquaintance. Share this with that one person. Then, discuss how each of you value your intangibles. One is a fool but two is a partnership. There is value in discussion.