Popular question isn’t it? Simple as it sounds, I consider it to be the one of the most fundamental questions of our existence. “Who are you?” and you respond “My name is John, Mr. Doe’s son”, or “John Doe of XYZ Plc”, or “John, Amy’s brother”, etc depending on how you expect the person to recognize you. These responses suffice when the essence is just to elicit some form of recognition. However, when you sit down to ask yourself who you are, you see that you cannot be just a name.
So who are you? What makes you you? Is it the genes of your parents, your experiences in life, a pre-planned destiny or any other such factors? Proponents of these schools of thought will have you believe that these factors have made you who you are. So where does that leave you? A product (or by-product) of circumstances over which you have no control? Maybe. But maybe not, at least not for the individual who wants to take responsibility for his/her life.
The human being is more than a body that is capable of speech. The human being is a mind that is capable of introspection, analysis and informed choice. We are endowed with the ability to consider our situation and change the course of our lives not by instinct but by conscious intelligent choice. This attribute makes us architects of our lives and destinies and totally supersedes any genetic combination or social factors around us.
I believe somewhere in your genetic make-up, your experiences in life, and all such external influences, the real you sits quietly, waiting to be discovered and expressed.
If you have not clearly recognized who you are, now is the time to define yourself. This is called Self discovery. It is not a one-time event. Rather, it is a never ending process and it must be actively pursued across our life spans. Knowledge of ourselves is the only way we can find meaning in our lives and purpose for our existence.