Who am I?
Philosophers have been kicking this question around for centuries and yet the answer is wonderfully unique to everyone but it’s central to achieving our best life, personally and professionally. Thanks to COVID-19, Mental health is the latest buzz word circulating daily but without some time in front of the mirror exploring this question it will be hard to build and/or reinforce a robust mental framework to operate. The nature of the answer to this question lies in the lens for which you are looking through and the point in time you are looking. Part of me would like to think, Who I am, hasn’t changed over the years but I’d be denying or lying to myself that life hasn’t unexpectedly changed or shifted that answer over time. That being said, I don’t think it should change daily or at the whim of pressure. The answer to this question is foundational, your anchor, or north star, to how you operate in the world. Once this has fermented long enough and things begin to crystallize you will be left with qualities and values which need to be crafted into your own Personal Philosophy. It’s your personal ‘mission statement’, similar to what corporations use to navigate daily decisions, stress, challenges. Think of your personal philosophy as your personal Magic 8 Ball, inserted with your values and qualities, and every time you are faced with something, you shake the ball and see what it says, “Not likely”!
So how does this all relate back to mental health? Without the time spent crafting and honing your philosophy you will operate in the world very much like tumbleweed, blowing whichever way the wind blows, no control or say in how life plays out. The investment of the time into a personal philosophy will make you much more like a palm tree that stands tall days after a hurricane blows through. A personal philosophy will give you the framework that when stress, peer pressure, laziness, greed, etc start creating uncertainty and unknown, it gives you a plan for how to navigate.