One of my favorite things I have learerned on my entrepreneural journey is an easy concept to learning something new, which became a life lesson to me. He described this as an important way to gather up all the important facts based on research work or learning in general. He said, “Whenever you came about a new lesson or concept to learn, make it your aim to be able to answer seven key questions concerning that topic”. It’s called the 5W2H principle. The key questions to ask are Who, What, Where, When, Why, How, and/or How much? I’ve put this simple principle in my day-to-day routines and whenever I come across some decision making, and this has helped me tremendously. In my journey in self-discovery, asking myself these key questions also helped me understand myself even better. Before we get to finding a purpose to live and living it intentionally, we should be able to give ourselves an identity first. Knowing who we are is a journey that requires a deep in look into one’s life. Self-searching, self-questioning, and self-reflecting on our personalities, emotions, and lifestyle.
Who am I?
This journey of self-discovery begins by asking yourself this question. Who am I? Your name is your title but that is not your true identity. Your true identification lies in what you believe in and who you choose to become. The world we live in now has blurred the lines to self-identity and now encourages people to identify themselves however they wish to. Your identity is a choice that you make for yourself. People around you and your background may try and label you but what truly matters is who you choose to identify yourself as. A hundred people calling you poor when you have a million dollars hidden in your account does not make you a poor man. Waking up each day calling yourself a poor man and choosing to be lazy and not be productive will make you a poor man. That identity will stick to you because you accepted it and made it who you are.
What defines me?
What is important to you? What are your values and needs? What thoughts and feelings do you stand by and are worth protecting? What you believe and fight for is who you are. Acknowledging your interests, your dreams, and ambitions is another crucial step in your journey to self-discovery. Our lives are driven by having a purpose. You cannot have direction in your life if you do not know what exactly you’re aiming for. Self-knowledge and self-appraisal are what pre-selects the values that make you who you are. Discover hobbies and traditions that stand out to you. The only way to know what gives you personal satisfaction and makes you happy is to try out new activities. You really never know what you like till you’ve tried it.
Where am I positioned in life?
Where you position yourself, the people you allow into your personal space, your colleagues and friends, and the places you choose to hang out in all influence who you are or who you’ll become. One bad apple spoils the whole bunch they say. The bad apple, the influencer, is someone who has made a distinctive identity of himself or herself. Even a dog raised by a pack of wolves does not make it become a wolf. Nobody can wrongly influence you if you stay true to your true self. Who you are and what’s important to you. Surround yourself with people that nurture the person you want to become. People that build your ambitions and goals and those that promote your intended lifestyle.
When do I get to where I’m going?
Every goal, ambition or dream needs a time factor set to accomplish it. Where do you see yourself spiritually, intellectually, or financially being a week, month, or years from now? That big picture, when you’ve finally achieved those big goals, begins with making small intentional decisions. Making small purposeful acts one after the other, one day at a time. Once you’ve discovered where you want to be in your life, you set a time frame when you want to see yourself there. Knowing yourself, and staying true to yourself helps you in making attainable goals. When the goals are too demanding and time-consuming you might lose yourself to frustrations, anxiety, and depression.
One of the important lessons I was taught growing up is how to celebrate the small progressions I make in my life. Firstly, I learned to separate my short term from my long term goals. As I was achieving my short term goals it gave me a drive and encouragement to keep pursuing all the other goals I had set for myself. It reminded me that I was perfectly capable of attaining what I was setting my mind on. I wasn’t focusing on the negative energies, what I was missing, or why it was taking long. I focused on what went right and how to make my next step forward. My journey continues, and this lesson proves to have made me a better version of myself.
Why am I alive today?
Why do you wake up every day and do what you do? Why do you push yourself to go to the gym every other day and eat healthily? Why do you keep disciplining yourself to stay on budget? How much are you willing to give to obtain your inner peace and happiness, and to experience the wholeness of who you are? The reason lies in understanding your life’s purpose. Those central motivating aims of your life guide your life decisions, influences your behavior, shapes your goals, and offer a wide sense of direction thus creating meaning to your life. What defines who you are is what you live for, your soulful purpose to life.