Ever Think About Who You Really Are?

Know Thyself - inscription on ancient Temple of Apollo in GreeceAt a seminar this week where the presenters included several well-known leaders such as Gen. Colin Powell, Rudolph Giuliani, and Steve Forbes, one of the speakers asked us to consider who we are.

Many of you may have been to an event where the host suggested that everyone turn to the person on their left and introduce themselves to the person on their left and then to the person on their right; kind of an icebreaker, loosen up exercise.

However, in this case, the question we were to ask another person was “Who Are You?”  We were to ask this question of the same person three times.

Not surprisingly, most people first answered with their name; “I’m Gerald Hoffmann”.

When asked again “Who are you?” details started coming out like; “I live in Macon, Georgia” or “I’m married and have 2 children”.

When asked the third time “Who are you?” more things came out like; “I’m a pharmacist and I’ve been doing that for 3 years”.

The speaker then pointed out to us that we are all “Human Beings”, not “Human Doings”.   Too many people identify or define themselves by what they do or where they live.  But that’s not the core of who we really are.  At our core we are essentially people of beliefs, attitudes, and values that present a much clearer and important indication of “who we are.”

Taking time to think about this and knowing who we are and having a clear self-concept is critical to our happiness, satisfaction, and achieving our goals in life.

Now I can answer that question with something like; “I’m a trusting, confident, and generous man who enjoys giving to others”.

I’m not suggesting that you introduce yourself at an event or to another person with this kind of a self-definition.  But the question “Who Are You?” is a question that is most properly asked of ourselves until we can honestly answer it.  If necessary, stand in front of a mirror and look into your own eyes when you respond.  When we get the answer it can become part of our daily affirmations, repeated to ourselves every day or when setting goals or when making important decisions.

So, who are you?

The Ancient Greek aphorism “Know thyself”, was inscribed in the pronaos (forecourt) of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi.

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