You are not who you say you are.

The fallacy of ‘Identity’.

Most articles are written with the intention to inform, or to make known a point of view.

Not this one.

I’m writing this to inquire, and to know – more about friends, acquaintances and the people I meet.

This morning, I read this article by Tyan. It led to this one by Paul Graham; and reminded me of a somewhat similar one I wrote a couple weeks back.

Summary: Don’t constrain your identity to a single, limiting word, phrase or statement. And don’t do the same for others.

Says Tynan…

“These days I don’t really define myself by much. When people ask for a self introduction, I usually say that I’m a guy who does weird things and tries to share the lessons from them with others. That leaves me a long leash and I find it hard to think of any scenario in the future where I’d want to escape that label.”

I started my career as an Infantry Officer – and when I crossed over to a career in Public Relations, I was known as “the army guy” amongst my peers. I quickly became known as “the PR man” amongst early technology adopters in the early days of ‘Web 2.0'. And when I started the ‘Digital Strategies’ business in the PR agencies I worked for, I was known as “the digital guy”. Now, after having had my tech start-up acquired, friends think of me as the “tech guy” or the “start-up guy” – even though there’s a long list of non-technology subjects I’m studying (some found here on my ‘Common’ page).

Labels are always one-step behind. Any wonder we find it hard to reinvent ourselves quickly enough to 1) stay excited, 2) stay relevant?

More importantly – if these identities / labels are not who we truly are, or want to be known for; then how can we possibly hope to forge deep, authentic relationships that are tinted by a limited perspective?

So… my question for you… Who are you? Who are you truly?


Footnote:

A longer title for this post might have read…

You are not who you say you are. I am not who you think I am.
The fallacy of ‘Identity’ in a quick and shallow world.