This past Sunday was “Father’s Day”. A day where dads receive ties from their kids and they are allowed an afternoon of watching golf or baseball without interruption. As I opened my very colorful tie selection and read my kids’ crayon-decorated cards, I began to think of how I define myself. I am a father of four children and a husband. I am also a son, brother, boss, employee, coach, etc. Different people view me through different lenses – is there really one true ME?
This caused me to think of a common self-introspection question:
Who are you?
Twenty years ago I was an incoming first-year student and experienced Frosh O weekend. There were sessions designed to bond the freshmen of my hall and mixers to help me to make friends with other first-years on campus. During Frosh O, many of the same questions were asked of and by each person:
- What’s your name?
- Where are you from?
- What’s your major?
These Frosh O questions are the college version of name, rank, and serial number. Quickly I began to see myself, and define myself, as Kevin from Rutherford, NJ who is planning on studying Civil Engineering. These descriptors we assign to ourselves do not go away easily either. As I speak with graduating seniors, often the first pieces of information they share with me after their name is their major and their hometown. It is how they view/define themselves.
Fast forward 20 years, Who are you?
Are you a VP, Market Analyst, Law Associate, Design Engineer II, Father, Mother, Coach, Artist, Caregiver, Entrepreneur, ??? How do you define who you are? Is it a different definition depending upon your audience? Who are you?
Try tackling this massive question – it will take some time. As you discover who you are, the more you will uncover what is important in your life. From there, you can use this information to help make decisions about what you believe are the best options for you and what you value.
Take some time and revisit the question often – Who Are You?