Key Point: When we think of ourselves as an idea, something almost magical happens. The “idea” of who we are starts to frame up a story of one’s “self.” It sparks the imagination. The phrase…”I have an idea,” is usually a very freeing moment. It gives us permission to dream about what might be possible. The excitement of what “could or will be,” related to an idea, usually propels us forward. And an idea of what story we want to create for ourselves lets us determine whether the things we are doing and/or thinking will fit with the narrative. An idea of self contributes to the guiding framework we use to make choices and be intentional.
I have written about the value of developing and declaring a sense of purpose many times before. As you may recall, defining our life’s purpose is a mission statement… It’s why you and I believe we’re on this earth. This is similar to, but not the same concept as having an idea and creating a story of oneself. Your self-story is not about a chronology of your life’s events. It certainly is not exclusive to your resume. Your story is about what you are essentially about. It is your authentic, “at home” self. While acknowledging a purpose is somewhat more permanent, the great thing about our self-story is that it’s based on an idea that is ever evolving.
One key chapter of our self-story is defining and being aware of what is different about us. This is a vital part of personal development; when we become more enthusiastic about acknowledging our uniqueness than disappointed that we are not the same as others. When we recognize our differences, we can start to capitalize on that individuality to create a more interesting sense of who we are… Think about all the people in the world who “couldn’t make it” because they were too different. Often, their distinctiveness makes them our heroes.
Where I work, we ask people to do much more than take on a job. We invite them to come in and create a story about who they are and how they will contribute to our organization. The power of story is anthropologically understood. The power of self-story is about how we permanently touch others. And that is true legacy.
- Allow yourself to quietly reflect on the idea of who you are and what you’re becoming. If you have the interest, take the time to write it out a bit. What story are you creating about yourself? What idea are you building on?
- Determine how your uniqueness and difference adds to your story. It’s not to draw attention, but to embrace authenticity.
- Commit to creating a rich story that allows you to curiously explore possibilities based on being open to what crosses your path, and inspires you to live with a sense of wonder and vitality.
Your self-story in the Triangle,