A lot of people spend a lot of time musing about what they want to do. They think that if they know their purpose, their life will have meaning. I propose that, “What is my purpose?” is the wrong question. We’re not human doings. We’re human beings. So perhaps the better question is, “Who am I?” When you know the answer to that, all you have to do is be an authentic reflection of yourself everything else falls into place.
So Who Are You?
There are four parts to you: your past, present, your future, and your reflection in the eyes of others. Your past is the story you tell yourself about what you did. You probably feel good about some of it. There are parts that you don’t like. This includes things like family, education, friends, whether you did the things you thought you should be doing, and how well you fit in. Essentially the past is about judgments. Comparison is how we make sense of reality, so if you think you are ahead of others, your self-concept is probably positive. If you have a lot of secrets you’d rather people didn’t know, this could sabotage you even if your story looks shiny on the outside.
The present is what you see about you today. It’s how you work, live, look, and feel. It’s your judgments about your social standing, how well you do your job, the importance of that job, and how worthy you are. It can contain any judgment about yourself including how free you feel, how much you produce, what your kids look like, and so on. It’s limitless. Think of anything you could judge yourself on and throw that into the mix.
Your future story is the plans you have for who you will be, what you want to do, and how you will fit into the world around you.
On a subconscious level, we were, are, and will be always aware (because we are part of a whole) of what others think of us. They are always reacting to us. We are always reacting to them. These interactions can be affirming or destructive depending upon if we like the reaction or not. When someone doesn’t like what we project, we feel disharmony with them and tend to avoid them and vice versa. So, we have a sense of ourselves that is reflected in the eyes of others.
All of these past, present, and future reflections combine to form our False Self. Most of us will live here our whole lives always reacting to other people, trying to live up to some ideal, and chasing a feeling of emptiness that can never be filled. It is this way because there is always someone opposing us, something we don’t have, and something we can’t be. So there is always something disaffirming us. But there is an alternative.
Since you are the one who is creating yourself, you can create from a place of the False Self or the True Self. The True Self sees all this happening, but doesn’t join with it. It’s a nonjudgmental presence that allows what happens to happen without judgment or taking ownership. You don’t judge others. You don’t allow outside actions to place judgments on you.
Things just register in your brain and flow through. When things just flow through, you are always in a place of choice rather than reaction. If someone doesn’t resonate with you, it’s not about you. If you don’t get the job, you’re open to other possibilities. When you’re given the choice of X or Y, you choose from your authentic self, not some ideal of what you think you should do.
This is a radically different idea for most people. It essentially sums up the idea of “What would you do if you were limitless?” Well, be limitless. All real limitations are manmade. Yes, we all need food, shelter, water, clothing, and transportation, but the needs of the body don’t define you. Your work, family, experiences, and possessions don’t define you either. You can decide your own real boundaries and definitions. Since you are in control, why not be limitless?
So the next time someone asks you who are you, you can reply, “I am limitless.”