This is one of the questions people ask me over and over again. It comes in all shapes and colors. In essence, it boils down to the question of how to figure yourself out.
Just the other day someone asked it again. That's why I decided to write down my thoughts and answer it from my own perspective. And the answer is a lot less complex than you might think.
Because there is no answer to this question.
There is no one single way to figure yourself out.
There is no step by step process to figure yourself out.
It doesn't work that way.
Figuring yourself out doesn't follow a formula.
It's a quest. A journey. A mystery. A puzzle.
Figuring yourself out is ultimately a leap of faith.
And accepting this is probably one of the toughest things out there.
It's probably the biggest paradox of our time.
We live in a time where we can find answers to some of the most complex problems humanity ever faced within just a few seconds and a few clicks. We're able to transplant human body parts and organs. We're able to send people to space.
But despite all of the technological advancements, we're still struggling (more than ever before) to find the answer to a seemingly simple question. To one of the most urging questions of our lives. Of our entire existence..
“Who am I?”
And there are many ways to NOT figure yourself out and to NOT be able to answer this question. Things that will keep us stuck forever. Things that have become the norm in our society. A society where mediocrity and not being yourself has become the norm.
Working a job you don't like for many, many years (maybe even your entire life) that will sooner or later make you hate yourself.
Staying in a shitty relationship, that sucks all the energy out of you, just because you're looking for someone to love you. Even though, the only way to feel loved is to accept the fact that you need to love yourself first.
Trying to live someone else's life, instead of your own and wasting all of your physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and financial potential.
Hanging out with people you don't like, just to climb up some artificial ladder only to realize one day that you're on top of a ladder you don't even care about.
Trying to be like everybody else, instead of just being yourself and ultimately killing your authenticity and everything that defines you.
Buying all sorts of external objects that only bring temporary relief, whereas the answer to enduring happiness lies within yourself.
Reading hundreds of blog posts and books on this topic. They will almost always include conflicting advice and confuse you more than they help. In case they include any actionable advice at all.
And a lot of other stupid things.
Now don't get me wrong here. You can continue doing all of these things or do all of these things and have yourself perfectly figured out. Some people get it right very early in life, whereas others don't (including myself).
The thing about figuring yourself out is that it can't be answered in any of the ways we're so immersed in. It can't be solved in any efficient kind of way. It can't be solved by just thinking about it. It can't be solved by just reading books.
You can't just go online, screen Wikipedia, ask someone on Quora, in real life or whatever.
You won't magically find your answer. There is no process to this.
And there is no one answer anyway.
What might have worked for one person might not necessarily work for another. There are many different answers. And they're different for me. For you. For them. For all of us.
The answer to the question of who we are lies hidden deep down inside of ourselves. And it's craving to be uncovered. It's like a story waiting to be told. Your story. My story. All our stories.
And the only way to uncover your story and tell it to the world is by exploring. By traveling and experimenting. By embracing failure, by making mistakes, by getting knocked out over and over again and by getting back up again.
It's by making people cry. It's by crying yourself. By laughing. By making people laugh.
It's by breaking someone's heart to ultimately get your own heart broken.
It doesn't matter. All that matters is that you learn from the past, to be able to live in the present. To ultimately be able to build the future. Your own future. All our future. Maybe even a better future. I don't know.
And that's the only way to really figure yourself out. To figure out what you really want in life. To figure out who you really are. There is no other way.
Well, maybe there is. That's just the way it works for me..