Who are you?

Oct 19, 2016

 

Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Now write down the first thoughts that come to mind when I ask Who are you? Take a couple of minutes and write it all down.

Excellent. Now, read through your responses.

If you’re like many, you may have included words that relate you to someone else: wife, mother, son, husband, dog owner.

You probably included words that say what you do for a living: doctor, dentist, coach, bus driver.

Perhaps you included words that state your heritage: Italian, African-American, Latina, Japanese.

You might have added words that indicate who you prefer to smooch: lesbian, gay, straight, bisexual.

You may have written words that describe things that have happened to you: cancer survivor, divorcee, abuse victim.

Without a doubt, all these words contribute to your definition. They’re easy ways for others to get an initial understanding of you. But do they fully define you?

Maybe there’s another way to look at things.

I believe we’re better defined by using words that show how we spend our time. I don’t mean simply our professions because that’s just one small part of it. We are our actions, every single day. How we spend our time shows our priorities and shapes our life. In fact, it IS our life.

So let’s do the exercise again. Think through a few typical days and write down words that describe how you spend your time. Mine would be something like:

  • coffee drinker
  • exerciser
  • writer
  • dog lover
  • reader
  • Facebook time-waster
  • procrastinator
  • connector
  • dreamer
  • thinker
  • household manager
  • meditator
  • cook

A very different list than what I could have done: wife, step-mom, grandmother, dog-owner, cancer survivor, speaker and so on.

Interesting, right?

Keep reading your lists and (honestly) adding to the second list. Stay tuned, because we’ll take it a step further and explore ways we kid ourselves about who we are. Yeah, I’m nervous about that too.

Better Every Week - stories & strategies designed to help you be better than ever.