Remember: Please share this article if you found it helpful
“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
― George Bernard Shaw
So many people spend their lives trying to "find" themselves. The sad thing is, often, there is nothing to find.
In my own life, I spent much of my late teens and early twenties trying to "find" my identity. I worked at different jobs, I dressed differently, tried different hair-styles, played in different music groups, and struggled to answer the question "what do I want to do with my life"?
Sometimes I felt like I was chasing the wind. After many years of chasing, I learned that there was nothing to chase in the first place.
Everyone at some point gets to experiment with identity. We try different things, we experiment, we find things that work and things that don't. Some of the most successful people in history have shifted their identities and morphed as the world changes with them.
Some people I admire for re-inventing themselves are: Madonna (who is still relevant after 25+ years in pop music which is like 1000 years in real life), Steve Jobs (a man who re-invented himself and his company, Apple, many times) and Johnny Cash (who went from mainstream into obscurity and back into the public's eye).
These people have all gone through the highs and lows of identity by becoming relevant, obscure and then relevant again. They all created identities that were true to themselves and re-created them when necessary.
We are all human "be-ings" and not human "do-ings".
I always find it interesting that people ask on a daily basis "what do you DO for a living?" what do you "DO" with your time? What do you want to "DO" with your life?
Doing implies actions, which is important for success, but I think that being is much more important because we are human BE-ings.
If we know who we want to "BE", then we can quickly find out what we want to "DO".
For myself, I have stopped asking myself the question of "what do I want to do"? and have switched to the question of "who do I want to be?"
Since changing this one question, my success rate has sky rocketed.
I keep a list of 25 people that I admire and want to "be". Of course, I don't want to directly copy these people in every aspect, but what I will do is copy the things that I like about them. These 25 people that I want to be are "targets" for myself that I can attempt to emulate.
What I find most exciting about the list of 25 people that I want to "be", is when I write the things that I like most about them, I can find the common traits that I admire most.
For example, some of the people on my list are:
BRAD LAMB - Expert retailer, sales genius, branding genius
DONALD TRUMP - Branding genius, luxury developer, luxury brand, luxury retailer, maverick, media genius.
RICHARD BRANSON - Conceptual thinker, Venture capitalist, extremely prolific, branding genius, media genius, knows how to get press, risk taker, maverick
STEVE JOBS - Artist, Icon, Rebel, challenged the status quo, came from nothing, has ultimate career comeback, more relevant after death, maser retailer.
JOHNNY CASH - Artist, Icon, Rebel, challenged the status quo, came from nothing, ultimate career comeback, more relevant after death.
My list of people I want to be includes: Real estate entrepreneurs, retailers, developers, inventors, musicians, artists, military generals, chefs, movie and fictional characters.
What is more important than the specific people on the list, are the traits that I associate with each one.
For example, most of the people on my list are: Artists, Iconic, rebellious, mavericks, prolific, branding geniuses, luxury, media stars and retailers.
If most of the people on my list have those traits, and I want to "be" them, then those are the traits that I must focus on and strive for in my own life and business.
After finding 25 people for your list and taking an inventory of the traits that you admire in each person, you can quickly find out what kind of identity you must create for yourself.
What I find interesting about the "list" is that there are many successful people that I can think of that didn't make the cut. These are people I study and admire, but they are not people that I would want to "be".
For example: Robert Kiyosaki is someone I admire and have studied in great detail, but I do not wish to be Kiyosaki. He is a great teacher, but I don't want to be a teacher.
The more specific and detailed you become with this list, the more you will find your identity.
We can see ourselves only when we see our reflection in the mirror. The list of 25 people is our way of creating a mirror to see into ourselves. This mirror allows us to see what we are on the inside.
Once we can see who we want to become, we can begin the process of reverse engineering our identity so that we can become the person we were destined to be.
Thanks for reading,
P.S: Please share this article if you found it helpful