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-By Caleb Jones
“I’m Joe Smith.”
“I’m an attorney.”
“I’m a mother of two.”
“I’m a proud American!”
“I’m an activist!”
“I’m a loser.”
“I’m a badass.”
Maybe, not often, but maybe you'll get a more complete answer, something like:
“I’m a healthy, fun guy who loves life and is the father of three beautiful children. I’m married and I live in Chicago. I’m a regional manager of Acme Company and I drive a Dodge Stratus. I love hiking and camping, and I’m a life-long Democrat.”
Perhaps you’ll get an answer that is deeper, like:
“I am a spiritual being, an extension of the universe that is trying to figure itself out. I perceive, I exist, I experience. I am here to live this life before I move on to the next.”
Stop for a minute and think about who you are. How would you sum yourself up in a few sentences if you had to?
Seriously. Do it. I’ll wait.
Now guess what?
That’s not you.
I shall explain.
There’s the person you think you are and there’s the person you actually are.
The person you actually are is the person you were meant to be. The person you were designed to be. Everyone is different; everyone has a different set of skills, talents, strengths, and desires. These are the core aspect of the person you actually are; the person you were meant to be.
The person you think you are is an artificial construct purely as a result of Societal Programming (SP) and Obsolete Biological Wiring (OBW). The person you think you are is the result of decades of false external (SP) and internal (OBW) pressures that have crushed you into the man you look at in the mirror every day. But that’s not who you are. Who you really are is very different.
Picture a beat-up, rusty, damaged Ferrari in the middle of a massive, disgusting junk yard, covered in junk and trash. It’s mangled, brown, and missing parts. It’s a hunk of shit.
But a hunk of shit is not what the Ferrari was meant to be. It was meant to be a sleek, elegant, finely-tuned speed machine that can scream down the freeway at 200 mph and look and feel amazing while doing it. That’s what the Ferrari really is. The junkyard Ferrari is a bastardized version of what it is supposed to be, made that way by internal and external pressures that have nothing to do with the Ferrari's greatness.
The beat-up junkyard Ferrari is you, or at least partially you. Over the decades of your life, either because of laziness, delusion, irrationality, trauma, and/or false information, you have allowed SP and OBW to create this oddball, bastardized version of what you are. So today, that’s what you think you are.
But that’s not you.
If you’re not at least an 8 happy on the 1 to 10 scale the vast majority of the time, this is an indication that the current version of you, the version of you that you think you are, is very different from the real you.
If you’re very happy the vast majority of the time, and are often in a state of happiness, fulfillment, and/or peace, this is a strong indication that the current you and the real you are more closely aligned. Maybe not 100%, but close.
When I was in my late twenties, the person I thought I was could be described as, “A successful brick-and-mortar business owner, computer consultant, with a traditional marriage and family, living in Portland, Oregon.”
But that wasn’t me. It wasn’t even close to me.
As a result, I wasn’t happy. I’m not saying I was miserable. I wasn’t. But I wasn’t happy. Or fulfilled. Or excited. I was generally “okay” as well as being stressed out and always thinking that something was wrong.
Something was wrong. The person I thought I was, that schlubby, dorky-looking, badly dressed, badly groomed, stressed-out, unhealthy-looking, monogamous beta male dad I looked at in the mirror every day wasn’t me.
But today, I know. If found him many years ago through a lot of introspection and some of the exercises in my book.
Today, almost 20 years later, I’m much closer to the real me. I’m still not 100% there. I may never get 100% there, but I’m really, really close, and I get closer every year. This is why I’m so happy every day; A) I’m aware of who the real me is, and B) the current version of me is very close to being this man.
The real you is (likely) someone amazing and impressive. The interesting part is that you probably don’t even know who this man is. You’re too busy worrying about the man you think you are, that guy you see in the mirror every morning with all of those problems.
Once you find out who you really are, and even better, start removing the SP and OBW from your life to get closer to being this man, the happier you will be. You won’t believe the difference.
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