This is a question that we probably do not think on when we wake up every day: How do I know who I am?
It sounds like a recipe for traveling down a complicated psycho-babble lane.
Daily, there are various things that bombard us, seeking our attention from the moment the bedside alarm starts ringing and we hit the road running. What am I going to do with myself today? How much do I have left in my bank account? What’s for breakfast?
We typically do not spend time in a day considering the question: Who am I? How do I know who I am?
Who Am I?
It is a strange question – And yet, anyone who has an answer to it will probably worry less about the other consequential questions of the day such as: What do I do with myself today? If I know that I am a landscape artist whose life purpose is to create beautiful lawns that will cause people around me to appreciate nature, then I know what I am going to do with myself that day and I will not just be doing it, I will be fulfilled all day long when I am engaged in activity that demonstrates: This is who I am.
When we truly know who we are, we know how to deal with anything that comes our way with confidence.
Immigrant, Foreign Expat, Away from Home
This is especially true for someone who is working towards building their career or professional life. Maybe they left their home state, their home country, their families, in order to find the proverbial greener pasture of career opportunities somewhere away from home.
When we move away from home, a place where we had some familiarity around us, life tends to get even more uncertain. A person becomes, perhaps, unsure about their place in the world or how they could fit into this new world where they have ventured away from home.
If you are an immigrant, a foreign expat from your home country, or simply anyone trying to find a spot to land on the question of how you fit into the world where you are living in, the question you are likely trying to form in your mind is this: Who am I? What is my purpose in this world where I have found myself? What benefit can it give to me, and what can I give to it?
How to Answer the Question: Who Am I?
How do you answer the question of who you are, especially in relation to your career? The reason why you are on Earth, the purpose why you live every day, the things about you that is making life better and better for you every single day when you wake up. The answer to who you are can be found in your personal beliefs. Not the things that people have told you about you. Not the things you have assumed about yourself. Instead, the personal beliefs that you have discovered through having faith in something – or someone.
Your Personal Beliefs
Our families and friends have the best intentions for us, mostly. Even the boss at work or co-workers may be part of that community that is looking out for us. However, they are not the authority on who you are, even when they make suggestions about it.
As a matter of fact, you are not the authority on who you are. When you ask yourself this question, you usually start out with a lot of assumptions. For instance, you may think: I love biology. I am a healer. I am going to be a doctor.
Unfortunately, one to five years into studying the field, or practicing the profession, you quit – Because it was a field where you found no worth, affinity or meaning.
Taking the Wrong Turn Happens Often
There are individuals who have taken the path of who they think they are, and discovered that they hated it or could not survive in it when they got to their destination. They figure out a little late that it was not who they were. They had assumed from the beginning.
Or, they may travel down different paths, trying one thing, and then another for years, until they arrive at a destination where they feel some meaning, some worth, some reason to get up every day to do that job.
It is possible to skip the pain and doubts by figuring out what makes you up as a person, emotionally, spiritually, and in every other aspect of your composition as an individual, before embarking on career choices that give you a ‘place in the world.’
Let’s Start With a Story…
Let me tell a story.
Many years ago, before modern nations came into existence, there was a young lad called David.
His father required him to keep the family’s sheep by going out into the fields daily to ensure they were fed – or whatever else shepherds do. This was probably going to be David’s career for life because his father started him out on that journey. As for David’s older brothers, they had found themselves some tidy positions in the king’s army and were supposedly fighting battles on behalf of the nation whenever there were wars.
There was one thing David figured out while keeping sheep – He needed to have a weapon about him, because there were wild animals out in those fields. He carried around a sling shot (“catapult”) and stones, the only defense he had against deadly animals like lions and bears. Surprisingly, on the occasions when the sheep were attacked by a lion or a bear, David killed them single-handedly.
The Right Thing to Think
There was also something else he discovered about himself. He was alone in the fields so many times, it gave him the chance to think a lot. No, he was not thinking about things like how to make his next one million dollars and get the hell out of that job; or any other grandiose things.
Instead, he thought through every situation in his life by wondering what God Himself thought about those things. For instance, it was rumored that David was an illegitimate child of his father, therefore, not particularly loved like the other kids. David thought through these things: If my parents have abandoned me, what is the solution? Ah! God will take their spot and take care of me! (I paraphrase). His thoughts can be found in Psalm 27 verse 10 here at this link for Bible Gateway.
When a lion attacked his father’s sheep, he considered God as the invisible Helper that would come to his rescue. For example, he thought of God’s rescue in the book of Psalms, “Save me from the lion’s mouth!“… (This can be found in Psalm 22:21 at this link to Bible Gateway).
The Journey to Self-Discovery Begins
David did not start out in discovering himself by trying to figure out who he was. Instead, he started by figuring out who God was: God, as a Being he could not see, yet Who was able to deliver him from lions and bears. God, as an adoptive Parent Who could do things round him that a biological parent would neglect…and so on.
When he began to see the limitless things God could do, he began to see the limitless things he could do in God – Like killing warlords in battles, even though he had no training for it. The story can be found here in 1 Samuel 17, where David killed a giant warrior with just a stone and slingshot. This was an enemy warrior that had caused all of his nation’s army, including the king, to quake in fear.
David discovered who he was by first studying Who God was.
It sounds like a dauntless task – But it is simple for the curious who want to know if it is a possibility to discover themselves if they can discover the person called the God of the Bible. If you would like to see more, there is a blog about God being a person who can be discovered on the website: Omega Inscribe, which can be found here.
Therefore – Can you find your capabilities as a person or who you are, by finding out the capabilities of the Lord? The answer – Yes. You can find out what you should be doing every day that makes your life a pleasure. When you lay down at night to sleep, your rest time comes with satisfied fulfillment. The manual for this discovery is found where these records about God are written – The Bible
If you have ever wondered this question of ‘who am I’, and have some thoughts to share, leave a comment below.
For more on discovering your pathway to becoming a ruler of the jungle out there called ‘the career world’, check out more tips here on taking charge of your life and business!