You were not conscious of your being when you were conceived. When your mother gave birth to you, you were still not conscious that you are. But you were already existing. By the time you became conscious that you are, you were already being conditioned by your parents and the society. Some parents get it right, some do not. The conditioning of the society hardly helps you know who you really are. It is little wonder then that after living for decades, many people have not asked themselves the fundamental question: “Who am I?” Hence, they end up being strangers to themselves.
The question, “Who am I?”, is too important not to be asked. This is a question that will help you connect to your core. The experience you have had have formed layers around your core. These layers are foreign to who you really are. “Who am I?” helps to see that these layers are dissolved and you can have a connection to your core.
The responses people usually give when they are asked who they are show that many people do not know who they are. If when asked who you are, you respond with what you do – “I am a doctor” or “I am a lawyer” – then you do not know who you are for who you are is not the same as what you do.
“Who am I?” is a question you ask yourself whose answer will reveal much to you. When you are able to supply the right answer to that question, your values will be reprioritized. Then you become part of the minority who will not have the society dictating for them. Then you will be set free from the conditioning of the society in order to claim your true and original identity. The right answer to “Who am I?” will set you free from unnecessary pressures. It will make you stop the unnecessary and useless comparison of yourself to others. It will make you see life in a new light and in some way you will be born gain. It will be the same life but with a new meaning.
When you provide the right answer to the question, “Who am I?” the second question, “What is my purpose?” should follow. This second question should be taken seriously and answered with sufficient reflection. If you want fulfilment in life, your answers to both questions should be clear. Be sure that the purpose you realize as your purpose is not someone else’s purpose nor a purpose someone else told you was yours which may not be true. If you have the thought that you do not have a purpose, discard it.
I have watched and observed people’s actions and I am convinced that majority do not know who they are and what their purpose is. They seek happiness in created things and in various pursuits. When they get what they have sacrificed much to get, which they thought would bring them happiness, they are disappointed to find out after sometime that happiness is still not theirs. For instance, a woman who has no job may think that getting a job will bring her that satisfying happiness she craves. She gets a job and months later, she is not as happy as she expected to be. One reason for this is that the vital questions, “Who am I?” and “What is my purpose?” were not asked. One who has the right answers sees life as a whole and her pursuits will be an integrated set of activities that would be meaningful to her. She knows what would bring her fulfilment and that would be what she specifically goes after. The society can no longer dictate for her; she is free from the conditioning; she is “reconfigured” and she has a connection to her core. Her relationship with people helps her in realizing her purpose. She does not seek completion in a man. No, she shares herself with people and even though she is imperfect, she is true to herself and she touches lives. In other words, she is authentic – she is not a fake.
When I first asked myself, “Who am I?”, I just was not able to answer the question. It took me two years to start putting it together. One of the things I have learnt in the process is that who I am is evolving. But in this very moment, I am aware of who I am. Since I am aware of that I know what I want, hence, I know what I should be doing. Since I know who I am and what I should be doing, I know the activities that would bring me fulfilment in this moment and those that would do me no good. I am connected to my core. I am living and I am conscious of it. It is clear to me that the intensity of my experience in life is much more important than the number of days.
I wish you fulfilment in life along with an amazing experience. Now, do what you should to make that happen. Ask yourself, “Who am I?” and find the answer.
Questions are the answers.
Godwin Nwaokike is the author of the book Growing Through Life: The Pursuit of Fulfilment. Click the image below to find out more about the book.