Where, you ask, did this nonsensical question come from? From a trend I have seen in many conversations I have been having lately. Due to a presentation I delivered recently entitled, "Finding Your Passion", many of the audience members have been in touch with me wanting to dig deeper into that topic as it relates to their own life. Keep in mind, this trend is not unique to the audience in that presentation, it is very prevalent everywhere and in almost everyone (including myself).
It is this ... we tend to mix our "who" and our "what". It's like an Abbott and Costello skit isn't it?
Who is your what?
No, no ... who is your who.
What is my who?
We tend to define ourselves by the roles we have in life. These are our "whats". You may be a mother, father, sibling, grandparent, son, daughter, friend, employee, boss, co-worker, consumer, producer, wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, volunteer, helper, dependent, or any combination of millions of roles not listed here.
Your "what" is the culmination of all of your roles. It is defined by what you do and what responsibilities you have to others. We all have "whats" and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It is our "whats" that make us valuable members of society, able to contribute to those around us.
The problems come when we start letting our "whats" take over and eventually drown out our "who".
What is your "who"? Your "who" is you apart from your "whats". By that I mean this ... (wow, Dr. Seuss must have had lots of fun, writing sentences like this is making me smile) ... If you can put your roles out of your mind and really look inside at the person you are, you will find your "who".
Doing it isn't very easy for most. That is because we are so used to defining ourselves based on our roles. If you had no responsibilities to anyone, even for just a day, what would you want life to be like? Who would be there?
What would you be doing?
How would you feel?
Where would you go?
Think as freely as you can. This is where you discover your "who". Don't judge your vision, just soak it in. This is where you will find your passion. This is where you will learn what you really want from your life. Spend some time in this would of your "who". Get to know it very very well. Then bring it with you when you step back into your "whats". Adjust your roles according to the real you that you have found.
That is where happiness begins.
Get in touch with your true "who" and adjust your "whats" to reflect it. We will talk about your "whys" and "hows" in another article.