Saturday, December 20, 2008

Curious about Identity: Do You Know Who You Were Meant to Be – and Already Are? What Will the Identity Code Do for You?

Joy, rather than happiness, is the goal of life, for joy is the emotion which accompanies our fulfilling our natures as human beings. It is based on the experience of one's identity as a being of worth and dignity.” - Rollo May, American psychologist

I chose the theme “Identity” for this week’s blog, because I am already hooked on an audio book by Larry Ackerman called, “The Identity Code – the 8 Essential Questions for Finding Your Purpose and Place in the World.” Even though I have just begun, Ackerman submits, “Much like your genetic code, your identity code provides a complete map of how you were designed to live.”

I wonder how many of you were lead to pursue a path dictated by your parents, a teacher or some other mentor or peer that you trusted. As early as my year in kindergarten, I knew what I wanted be “when I grew up.” When I shared my decision to be a storyteller, writer and artist with my parents, I was informed that those could become interesting hobbies – BUT I was to become a mathematician. I had been tested early and it was determined that I had a mathematical mind.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I actually majored in math in which I did well and enjoyed. This lead to a career right out of college in computer programming and is one of the reasons I am so passionate about computers today. However, I have pursued storytelling, writing and art – not as hobbies - but with a serious involvement.

I am on a quest to find out if I am doing what I was meant to do. After I have worked through Ackerman’s 8 Questions and Exercises, I will let you know.

Let’s investigate what the experts say or have said about identity:

  • Human identity is the most fragile thing that we have, and it's often only found in moments of truth.” - Alan Rudolph, American director
  • I'm right at a time when I'm strongly finding my identity inside of my work.” - Josh Lucas, American actor
  • The value of identity of course is that so often with it comes purpose.” - Richard Grant, American author
  • Leibniz dedicated his life to efforts to educate people to understand that true happiness is found by locating their identity in benefitting mankind and their posterity.” - Robert Trout, American journalist
  • Unlike a drop of water which loses its identity when it joins the ocean, man does not lose his being in the society in which he lives. Man's life is independent. He is born not for the development of the society alone, but for the development of his self.” - B. R. Ambedkar, Indian politician
  • Identity in the form of continuity of personality is an extremely important characteristic of the individual.” - Kenneth L. Pike, American sociologist

And, a few more:

  • There's this large trend - I think the next trend in the Web, sort of Web 2.0 - which is to have users really express, offer, and market their own content, their own persona, their identity.” - John Doerr, American businessman
  • The firmest friendship is based on an identity of likes and dislikes.” – Sallust, Roman historian
  • As I look over my work, I mean every time I look over my early work, I see, yes, I could do that then and then I could do that and that... That may be the hardest thing for a writer, at least for a poet, to tell what the identity of his work is.” - Kenneth Koch, American poet
  • We all need a past - that's where our sense of identity comes from.” - Penelope Lively, English author
  • I was very, very shy as a younger girl, just petrified of people. Tennis helped give me an identity and made me feel like somebody.” - Chris Evert, American athlete

So, I will ask you again, “Do you know who you were meant to be – and already are? Or have you been stuck in a career that doesn’t fulfill your dreams?” Please leave me your comments.