Who are you? Great question, I’m confident that is how 99% of people begin to answer that phrase. There are few questions I can think of off the top of my head that has so many different meanings but “Who Are You,” that can be answered in so many different ways.
My first thought to answer this is “what defines me,” and I am still figuring that out. I can tell you the things I’ve done, some I extremely proud of and others, well, I’ve had my fair share of lessons along the way; I can tell you where I grew up- New Orleans, Louisiana- a unique city that I still have yet to appreciate fully. I can tell you about my work experiences, my formative years, my collegiate years but at the end of the day, I firmly believe that to answer this question honestly, one must fully know themselves, what defines them, what is their metric in this universe that they peg themselves to.
I’ll tell you what mine is, success. I have become addicted to it in all forms. Success in my career, success in my marriage, success with my family, my health, my friends, but you can see how egocentric success can become. “My career,” “my marriage,” “my family,” what happened to the word “our”? Somewhere along the course of human history, the majority of us forgot that it takes more than one person to build a village, and to be blunter about it, it takes more than one person to do almost anything worth doing in this life, from my experience.
So back to the question, who am I? I am a product of my environment, my family, and myself. I could never have come this far in life alone and to attribute my own identity, my self-worth to “me” feels wrong. I feel like so many people have shaped who I am today, the person that as he reads this, has a difficult time putting it into words.
I grew up in New Orleans, as I said. I have a fantastic family, I am truly blessed, and I take that for granted far too often. My mom and dad have been happily married for over 30 years, and my younger brother has been by my side for 29 out of 32 years of my life. And of course my wonderful wife, who has been by my side supporting me in so many ways for slightly over five years now. These people are my pack, my herd, and we looked after each other the best ways we knew how as a family unit. I miss those times, where the four of us had the comfort of knowing we would all be together under the same roof that night. Now that comes a few nights a year if I am lucky, and it is far too few. I’ll stop going down this road now as it does not help define who I am; however, it lays a foundation of what I hold dear in this life.
I am the kind of person who has always taken risks in life, more than the average person I would say. I never partook in the typical “adventurous” things like base jumping or skydiving, or even roller coaster riding for that matter, but somewhat chaotic things that I would inevitably create. I don’t quite know how to explain it, but I like to live in a bit of chaos, it keeps me out of my comfort zone, always looking for ways to improve, options, holding doors open. Call me crazy, paranoid, believe me, I’ve called myself worse, but that chaos, that helps create success- what defines me.
I also consider myself lucky, both good and bad, if you are lucky you are both, I do not believe you can cherry-pick the good out of everything and not catch any of the bad. My father always told me, “son, we are Leffs, and I have learned two things, that people trust us for one reason or another, and that you Ben, you are lucky, stay positive, and that luck will serve you well.” He never says the other part that naturally comes after that statement, the implied part because he doesn’t want to acknowledge it but I will finish the statement for him: “Do not forget that bad luck exists and you get back what you put into this world.”
In sum, who I am is an amalgam of experiences shaped by people, environments, genetics, choices, self-reflection, chaos, and luck. I would not be the person I am today, someone I respect yet I am my own worst critic, had it not been for the things as mentioned above that have shaped me.
What Drives You?
Like I said, success drives me, in all aspects of life. The unfortunate part is few people have the time to balance out their accomplishments in life, and it always seems to ebb and flow. For me, when I am doing well at work I do not tend to my personal or family life as much, I am sure most readers can relate.
The success I seek is not as shallow as money or good looks or trading places with anyone on this planet, what drives me is becoming a better version of myself each and every day. Once we stop growing, stop evolving and learning, it becomes easier to feel less and less purposeful in this world. I have had my ups and downs and I can say that everyone has a purpose, and not all of them are good but we are all here for a reason. I have absolutely no idea what that reason is and truthfully, I do not know what to attribute it to but I do know that we all have purpose, it is a matter of finding out what your purpose is. So what drives me is to discover that as it attributes to my success- a byproduct of hard work, commitment, passion, sleepless nights and endless days. If any of you have ever wanted something so badly no force in the world can stop you; you know what I am talking about.
Why did you join DXTeam?
I joined for this reason right here, to tell my story. I love to network, meet people from all across the globe and my head never stops spinning with ideas of connecting people I know together to form great things. I love to look for opportunities to spread information and open communication that gives both parties a “win”. To me, life is not a zero-sum game, balance can be achieved and I am learning that in my work at DXTeam. I am learning that time is my most precious resource, that I should focus on the things I truly care about and to push onward even though I’ve already been struggling for years — — DXTeam makes me push harder, it gives me a bit of that chaos I seek while providing stability at the same time. The best way to explain that is to understand the speed at which DXTeam is developing and that all of us are burning the candle at both ends for a grander vision. The speed, the chaos, drives us to work harder and form something structured, well-architected, and hopefully something that will stand the test of time. For time is our most precious resource, and I no longer intend to waste it.
First posted in X-Team Academy.