Who are you?
I think way too much. Always have. There’s at least a dozen comments in my high school year book that say as much. And, by the way, that’s not a compliment.
The brain doesn’t shut off when it should.
The brain analyzes things that don’t need to be analyzed.
It’s getting better but it has more to do with just being tired than anything. There are some benefits to getting older and more tired, I guess!
At this (what I hope) midpoint in my life, I have been increasingly turning my attentions to who I want to be, not what I want to be. It was a real eye opener.
Just the other day, in walking my son through his high school course catalog, it was a natural question to ask him – the same question adults have been asking adolescents for decades: “what do you want to be when you grow up.” What an awful question. I still can’t answer it. Then, you go on that job interview and you get the dreaded question: “where do you see yourself in 5 years?” Another awful question.
What, where – they are the wrong questions. The question we should be asking ourselves and our future workers, parents, friends is “who do you want to be when you grow up?” It’s not as easy as you may think. Of course, those Miss America “motherhood and apple pie” response of “a contributor to world peace”, “a role model”, etc. are bound to come up.
Truthfully, though, not everybody should want to be Ghandi or Mother Theresa. We need Wolves of Wallstreet (honest wolves) and mercenaries and missionaries. Understanding who we are and who we aspire to be are incredibly helpful in avoiding years and years of jobs and relationships that are not aligned with the real us. Once we are able to understand the 3-5 descriptions of who we want to be, it helps to guide and narrow down our choices – not a bad thing.
For a couple of years at work, I was on the interview circuit – meaning I was asked to interview candidates by co-workers for various jobs. It was really interesting because you could tell the difference between those who defined themselves as a specific role versus those who had a more multi-faceted view of who they were. I am not going to opine on what my opinion is because it is only that. I have no answers or conclusions; only observations and opinions. However, I will say that when I came across a candidate who espoused that he/she would “do anything needed to get the job done, day or night, and give up this and give up that”, it sent red flags my way. I applaud the work ethic – I really do. My only issue is that, again in my opinion, when someone defines “who” they are in such an unbalanced way, they are typically not very good at dealing with disappointment, failure, change and feedback.
I don’t know who you are – I am still figuring out who I am but I do hope whoever it is – it is a tapestry of goals, ideas, skills and roles – for both of us.
Until next time,