It’s Time to Get to Know Ourselves
How to identify what matters in a world of confusion and conformity
If there’s ever an ideal time to take a step back and examine your life, it’s now. It’s always now. There is no reason to wait for a turning point or milestone to understand that you have been living a life that didn’t align with your values and beliefs.
Norms and expectations do not have to dictate our personal choices, nor our individuality. The concept of going with the flow of society is outdated. It’s time for a new paradigm — one of knowing ourselves.
A Moment of Introspection
The truth of the matter is there is no formula, no step-by-step program that can work for everyone. Everybody’s life is different, characterized by a range of different ideas, goals and pressures.
Indeed, we can learn a lot from each other in the process of life, but whatever path we or those around us find ourselves on, it’s crucial that we examine ourselves from time-to-time.
All it takes is a moment of introspection. We have to sit back and think about where we want our lives to be and what that reality may look like.
We can ask other people for their advice or follow the norms of our society, but those rarely define our idea of happiness. After all, there isn’t a single person on this earth who shares the exact combinations of DNA and experiences that have shaped you. Why, then, should we spend our entire lives striving to fulfill goals and wishes that aren’t ours?
It only makes sense to start paying attention to your life, your visions, your goals and your well-being. After all, somewhere in the midst of trying and achieving, we may be losing ourselves in the process. Introspection is crucial.
Comparison and Advice
Theodore Roosevelt captured the essence of our conundrum; comparison is the thief of joy. It robs us of our lives and our ability to steer our lives because we are constantly looking to others to set standards for what we should be.
The more advice that we are given, while helpful at times in our lives, the more we can lose our vision of ourselves unless we’ve crafted the fine attunement it takes to truly know what we want from life.
We play many roles in society, in our personal and social lives, and we all hold a vision for what life should look like, at its very best or day by day.
Tragedy and unexpected events change life’s trajectory, but if we haven’t taken the time to truly understand what our lives mean to us then how can we stand and pick ourselves back up, not knowing who we are, clinging to the circuits of information that have shattered in the wake of our reality?
Knowing Who We Are and What We Stand For
At this moment, if you were to describe yourself, your goals and aspirations, how long do you imagine that an answer would come forth in a way that satisfies your soul and is an accurate picture of what you really want?
‘Entrepreneur’ may not be the best description of who you really are, but it is one that society has taught us means something, therefore it seems as though it has value. Yet if you truly asked yourself what it means to you, would it hold more importance than ‘authentic’, ‘genuine’, ‘kind’, even ‘indecisive’?
Often in life, we are asked to start again. A good example of this in my life right now is starting over after my father’s recent passing. This is uncharted territory. What good does it serve me to know myself as an entrepreneur, in light of tragedy? It’s not that I don’t see value in these labels, but it is far less important to know who we think we are or have been taught to believe we are, and much more important to know who we really are and what we stand for.
And so, I pose this question to you, do you really know who you are? And if you draw a blank, don’t be harsh on yourself. Many of us have no clue. That’s why it’s so important to ask the question.
Anna Rozwadowska 2019