Today begins a series of three very important questions that I’d like to encourage you to answer. I’ll send them out in succession, so be looking for three straight emails over the next three days.
For those of you who don’t know, this short clip is John McEnroe losing his mind on an umpire during a tennis match in which he had a slight disagreement with one of the calls.
McEnroe was asking the umpire if he really believed that the linesmen hadn’t made any mistakes all day. That was his question. And he was looking for an answer.
What about you?
Are you asking the question? Are you looking for an answer?
Question #1: Who Are You?
One of the things that I’m continuing to learn, is that knowing who we are is a powerful weapon. We might recognize this concept as being “self-aware” but regardless of how you want to label it, knowing who we are is an essential aspect of the way forward in our lives.
When we know who we are, we don’t get lost trying to become someone else. We don’t wonder about what it would be like to be someone else. We don’t lose sleep over who we are NOT.
In the movie, Mrs. Doubtfire, Robin Williams is juggling his two different selves and it finally catches up to him. When he goes to sit down at the table, he doesn’t know who he is. He thinks he does, but in all the back and forth, he forgets.
(The point is made in the first minute if you don’t want to watch the entire clip)
Knowing who we are allows us to move forward with confidence. We can’t start to develop our gifts, or, as Bob Goff said recently, “do less of what we suck at” until we know who we are.
Who we are informs us as to what we want, where and how we should move in our lives (not geographically) what roles really matter, and what roles might not matter so much.
It seems to me that many times we expend a lot of our energy trying to be our best selves, find our passion, or live the life we desire. And we do this before (or without) acknowledging and understanding who we are. From where I’m standing, if we can’t answer the essential question first (Who Am I?), then we won’t ever be able to see clearly enough to arrive at a good answer for so many of the other tough questions we will face along the way.
And this is an important thing to take note of:
We need to speak on who we ARE, not who we HOPE we are. Knowing who we want to be certainly has value, and doesn’t have to be ignored. But don’t elevate yourself to a place you have not yet reached, and certainly don’t lie to yourself by getting stuck on limiting beliefs. In order to best move forward, the truth about who we are RIGHT NOW, is the question we need to answer.
I encourage you to sit down and take a few minutes, and answer the question:
Who Are You?
Answer it in terms or your roles.
Answer it in terms of your characteristics and values.
Answer it in the format of bullet points or as a mission statement.
Regardless of how you choose to answer it:
ANSWER THE QUESTION, JERK!