Everybody lives with the idea of who they are without exception because we all define our identity consciously or unconsciously.
This is an essential requirement for our survival.
Don’t you ever make a sentence starting with the word “I”?
We all do but what do we actually mean by that? It’s clear that we have an opinion about our identity but what’s our judgment based on?
We certainly believe that we own unique character traits that separates us from others. Okay, we have values as a person but do they define our character?
Let’s say somebody told you “Here’s a blank paper, write something about yourself”. What would you write?
You’d probably make a list that includes:
- Your name
- Your religion
- Your job or title
- Where you are from
- Your family
- Your school
- Teams you support
But have you chosen them or vice versa?
It is surprising to see these elements are randomly gathered.
We don’t choose our names, our parents name us. Religion and political views directly coincide with the environment we live in. Our main language easily shapes how we think about everything.
We don’t choose our parents or the geography we are born in.
Let’s put everything aside and think this; if you were born as a family member of your next-door neighbor, your life would be completely different but you would still accept it as your identity.
So we can conclude that our identities are mostly shaped beyond our control. Why does it have to be like that?
We are born 2 years earlier before our brain development is completed. So even after our birth, we remain highly susceptible to the effects of our environment. Life gives us a random default starting package, therefore the initial point becomes the key determinant of who we are.
The genetic inheritance plays such a key role but we don’t know how much exactly. Apart from that, we look around, observe what’s happening, see how people treat us, and finally collect the data to make a judgment about our identity.
For a very long time, we never question why we accept all these socio-cultural values as our identity. Most people never question this issue in their whole life.
Where’s the uniqueness here?
Nobody is going through the same life.
Can you find entirely identical two people in this world?
Nope, we all have unique fingerprints. That means, there are billions of unique eyes looking at the same world, and they all see a unique picture. So there are rare and unique opportunities in life that only we can see and make use of.
Well, in this case, we are faced with a new question “why most people can’t even see these opportunities?”
We have such a great labeling word to use for the situations we can’t understand and that’s called “luck”.
What most people call luck is the invisible preparation meets opportunity.
Opportunity always favors the prepared. If people would never look for new ways to broaden their horizons, life cannot give them anything. The more you take care of yourself, the higher resolution your life will have.
You can possess highly talented piano skills but if you have never touched a piano, you can never unlock your potential.
When you take a look at the main focus of average people and what they all chase, you will see that most people are externally oriented. We are in a rush to get diplomas, certificates, praises, illusional success, lots of money…
We are always in pursuit of values that don’t belong to us in the first place. Life is not like that and most people don’t know how fast they are running up to the oblivion.
Life can only serve us in proportion to how great we’ve built ourselves up.
Thousands of youngsters met Reg Park, but only Arnold Schwarzenegger could take his attention. The whole Sporting Lisbon team played against Manchester United but only Cristiano Ronaldo could impress Sir Alex Ferguson.
When you consider yourself in a limited world view, you won’t be able to see what life offers you. Therefore, the most vital duty for all people is to enlarge their sense of self. There are two key methods to do that.
1- Always have the guts to say “I don’t know”: It’s not possible to learn when you never say “I don’t know”. We make ourselves unavailable for novelty and that makes us ignorant for a lifetime.
Society humiliates the ones who admit their agnosia. The kids stop asking questions in the school because authorities kill their curiosity with damnation. So people are forced to live with presuppositions and presumptions.
2- Always ask “How do I know this?”: This question is the lancet if you want to perform surgery in your mind. The more you ask, the more you realize that you don’t know much. After you start questioning all the things you assumed to know, here you have a mind of a learning machine.
These questions are key because you can’t build your character unless you deconstruct the illusional one that is given by the society. After these two key methods applied, reading becomes an amazing skill but not only reading books, we start reading everything inside and outside of us.
Books are only meaningful if you’re in the way of exploration because that’s the only time that information becomes available to turn into knowledge.
Self is not a static concept because we continuously build ourselves as we go through life. We meet new people, see new countries, tastes new food, try out new stuff. However, new concepts can’t directly contribute to our personality because in the early stages of our life we are programmed to defend our imaginary selves.
So regardless of the exposure of novelties, we do our best to stick to our current system of values. This is why ego is the enemy of success. You can see the proof of this easily in religion or political arguments. People can easily be triggered when their sense of self is threatened by the exposure of truth.
But how did this wrong programming happen?
The society suppress our unique identity
We are born curious but our curiosity severely decreased in time by the time we grow up.
The authority figures in our lives never liked to be questioned because those questions were serious threats to their identity. Whenever we questioned the authority, we got negative feedback. The authority figures felt the discomfort and did their best to kill our curiosity.
Kids do not apply what you say, they copy what you do. We copied the behavioral ethics unconsciously because that was all we see back then.
What’s the result?
There are a lot of border cops on the edge of our personal circle right now and they don’t allow new data to drive in. That’s why we are trapped in our primordial self. This crazy programming predestines and demarks what we can see.
Have you ever been in a situation where you clearly explained everything but the other side understood it all wrong? The message is always the message received. There have been glorious prophets who came with such miraculous evidence but people strongly insisted upon their wrongdoing.
So as long as you don’t discharge those border cops, it’s impossible for you to be your true self. Contrarily, you become a lifetime troublemaker for the world.
If you’re not brave enough to conquer yourself, you wreak its vengeance on others. Hitler was into painting but he could not dare to become an artist, so he made sure the whole world paid the price.
The current world we are living in gives no support for self-actualization, contrarily everything is against it. Look at the education system, it clearly doesn’t care about individual differences.
“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
People are hiring life coaches to solve their personal issues because they feel miserable and they disregard the fact that everyone is going through a unique war.
The problems, obstacles, challenges, opportunities we experience are idiosyncratic as hell. You don’t need to become too busy fighting battles you don’t need to fight. So we all get hit by life but why very few people can achieve developing a unique character?
The ability to not get caught in the drift is the most essential trait you can have. You need a high level of awareness and courage to discover your unique character.
The Concept Of Drifting
Most people tend to compromise rather than making a stand.
The current of life easily drifts them apart from the person they can be. I assume you are here because you don’t want to be one of these people.
You are here to master your fears and not let them master you, to live passionately and with purpose, to decide what you want to be, and never give up until you make it so.
The reason why most people can’t even start their journey is that they are not aware of the natural force of the universe. It’s the force that is produced by our minds.
Have you ever thought that why the limitations are only self-imposed?
Our mind is a powerful tool and it’s also capable of destructing our uniqueness. When we forget what we have to deal with every day, we can easily fall into carelessness. Then it’s easy to drift with the current and follow the masses.
The schools teach practically everything except the principles of self-actualization for individual achievement.
They load up young brains with lots of abstract information without teaching them what to do with it after. It is pain in the ass to go through such a complicated life when you have no guidance.
The art of living is all about conquering the war within. It doesn’t matter how many wars you have won on the outside when still having conflicts within.
“The greatest war ever fought, and are still fighting, where more people have been defeated and died, is the war within.”
If you’re not in peace with who you are, you will continuously look for new ways to cause misery.
The beautiful story told in the movie “Apocalypto”:
And a Man sat alone, drenched deep in sadness. And all the animals drew near to him and said, “We do not like to see you so sad. Ask us for whatever you wish and you shall have it.”
The Man said, “I want to have good sight.” The vulture replied, “You shall have mine.” The Man said, “I want to be strong.” The jaguar said, “You shall be strong like me.” Then the Man said, “I long to know the secrets of the earth.” The serpent replied, “I will show them to you.” And so it went with all the animals.
And when the Man had all the gifts that they could give, he left. Then the owl said to the other animals, “Now the Man knows much, he’ll be able to do many things. Suddenly I am afraid.” The deer said, “The Man has all that he needs. Now his sadness will stop.” But the owl replied, “No. I saw a hole in the Man, deep like a hunger he will never fill. It is what makes him sad and what makes him want. He will go on taking and taking, until one day the World will say, ‘I am no more and I have nothing left to give.”
When the battle inside is lost, you don’t even bother to make yourself useful for the world. You can’t supply water for others when your tank is empty.
Every person owes oneself the duty of finding how to live a full and happy life. Beyond this, if one has time and energy not needed in the fulfillment of his own desires, one may assume responsibility for helping others.
The Endless War Within Us
Duality is the inevitable truth of the world we live in.
Black and white, good and evil, man and woman, negative and positive…
Everything is created with their contrast, so as our personalities. Have you ever had a situation that you acted like a total jerk but later you can’t remember why you lost the control?
There is and there will be a continuous battle in our head between good and evil. Well, “Which one will win?” you may ask and the simple answer is, “The one you feed.”
We have the will to win the battle by feeding the good one the most. Every single damn day. This negative destructive energy is called in different forms in all cultures, religions, and societies. You may call it Demon, Devil, Resistance, Satan, etc.
It basically sows the seeds of negative thought in the minds of people so it can occupy and control the space. Basically, 98% of the world population is ruled by this force.
Have you ever wondered why people can’t stop doing things that are harming themselves? Let’s think about smoking for example. You give up your health, and you pay for it too. Most people don’t even know that cigarettes break down the power of persistence, destroy their ability to think clearly by deadening the faculties of their minds. Of course, we can think about all the bad habits in this context.
People start exercising with such a ray of hope, and they quit after a week of trial. They gamble away a fortune, lose their friends and family in the way but still keep doing it. Isn’t that interesting?
How can you call yourself free when you can’t act in a way to serve yourself? Unless you gain total control over your own emotions, you are destined to live a shallow life. You just become a drifter like most people.
The majority do little or no thinking for themselves. They are just okay to be influenced and controlled by circumstances. Drifters always need an authority figure to look up to because they are too lazy mentally to use their own brains.
They are easily manipulated and distorted by the third parties. That is why media can affect what they like or hate through neverending advertisements and subconscious methods. Since their mind is often occupied with negative elements, they never have time to break their self-sabotaging habits.
They live like animals but their worth is lower because they deny using their capabilities. How on earth can human beings lure themselves into self-imprisonment? According to all divine religions, we are on the planet earth for this reason.
God put Adam and Eve in such a beautiful and nurturing Garden of Eden. They were allowed to eat from any fruit except for the tree of good and evil. That special fruit was forbidden by God if they ate from the tree they would die.
However, Satan insidiously tempted them to eat by making a promissory oath that they will become God. They ate the bait by taking a bite of the fruit.
Right after that, they both knew they had sinned. They experience true shame and guilt in the presence of God.
This first act of will to our detriment relegates us to live on earth. The word used for the world in Arabic is “Dunya” which originally means “a lower place”.
So over-indulgence in earthly pleasures makes more men drift toward failure. What’s the most obvious consequence of self-indulgence? It’s the abandonment of the mind.
Sex, drugs, gambling, smoking, food, and liquor all numbs the brain and easily leads to nasty disposition. When they become habitual, then you’re a self-sabotage machine.
Well, how can you save yourself from this miserable position? The starting point of all achievement is having a desire. If you believe that you deserve more, you cultivate a desire to get rid of the unhealthy habits of yours.
Once you stop the negativity, hope finds some space to rise. The good deeds take away the bad. You may have the distinct honor of being human in this way.
When all the depressed, sad, frightened, clouded people ask me for advice to get rid of their misery; I have one size fits for all solution to offer. Let me share it with you.
Start doing something that only a human being can do.
The mental diseases escalated very quickly in the modern age because we can satisfy our animalistic needs easily.
Finding food, shelter, water is relatively easy right now compared to ancient times. Our minds have the luxury to stand idle like it’s never been in history.
That is why our wars have become spiritual as it’s said in the movie “Fight Club”. If you let yourself crap around, the mind will cause lots of troubles. The richness is only attained when you discover your limitless potential, which is only possible when you are willing to do activities that engage your marvelous mind.
Most people wonder why billionaires work their ass off while they have all the opportunity in the world to slack off as much as they like. These people don’t understand life. The people who work for the development of humanity are not crazy, they do it because this is the only way.
People used to ask me why I do morning runs because I had no excess weight on my body. It’s still the same issue, they don’t understand life. You can’t stop in the middle of the war. You are either sharpening your sword or it will get worse.
The moment you learn to use your mind constructively and do not let the universal resistance intercept and lead you off the path, you will start discovering your power. It doesn’t happen right away because seeds need ample time to germinate.
Character is a composite of our habits
Let’s not forget that both success and failure are the results of habit.
When you build habits that sharpen your mind, you have a machine for generating rhythm of positive thoughts. In time, the negative ones will vanish and the positive ones will be dominating.
Having a positive mindset with mental clarity is a great start to discover what you want from life.
People don’t know what they should demand because they lack definiteness.
Is it possible to shake a person who is ready for anything? When we develop strong principles that are compatible with nature, the wind will not blow us away. We even survived in the ice age in this way.
To be self-determining requires being detached from emotional mental blocks because our freedom lies behind getting rid of negative impulses of thoughts which destroy all possibility of definiteness.
Our time and energy are limited, so we have to use them wisely. Watch how predators hunt in the documentaries. They don’t jump into the middle of a flock. They already choose one before and they go after it with their 100% effort. Even if more available animals pass by them, they never give up chasing the first one. Why? Because set a definite goal beforehand.
When you are not 100 percent sure about anything, you can easily drift by fear, envy, love, or any emotion. There is one requisite for achieving anything you want on the earth.
Ignorance is the root of all evil.
Ignorants ignore the facts because they are ignorant of their ignorance. Therefore, ignorance is not about the lack of knowledge but resisting to reach it. It’s completely fine to drift through life, without a definite aim, plan, or purpose for an ignorant person.
A wise person might be in the same situation but the difference will be in the attitude.
Ignorant people might have the same capacity as wise ones but they insistently deny to use it.
There is only one way to save yourself and that is…
Unless you have control over yourself, you are a blind and pathetic creature. The power of your will is the only leg to stand on. Unless you’re willing to use it in your favor, nothing can help you in any endeavor.
The good news, it’s never too late because where there is a will, there is always a way. An unbreakable resolve and an iron will are worth more than ten thousand well-wishers.
One must master three powerful desires to achieve ultimate self-discipline.
- Food: Over-eating and wrong food combinations are the evils that cause auto-intoxication. A clean body sewer generally means a sound body and a brain that functions properly.
- Sex: Sexual energy is the main driving force to think and become creative. Overindulgence in sex has lots of consequences such as physical weakness, a decrease in life energy, subduing ambition, and enthusiasm.
- Speaking: Opening your mouth for trivial issues is the doorway to stay ignorant. When you speak with superstitions, guesses, and presumptions; you don’t act in a way to learn the truth but you only waste your time and energy.
Whenever you find yourself abusing these three, be sure about your downfall. The temptations will drive you off the road, and mostly you won’t even be aware of it.
Aren’t there other desires that can misguide you? Yes, but these are the most obvious and essential ones.
Desires are not evil. They become evil when you don’t know how to control them. You can only be free enough to run after your goal after you entirely conquered these three. If you don’t be cautious, you’ll get out of control easily. Once you are out of control, it’s easier for you to drift in all other subjects.
Doing useless things leads to the formation of useless habits. This is how you build the most destructive habit, “the habit of drifting.” Whatever you are doing right now, will be much easier to do the next day, and the other day as long as you repeat it.
You don’t become obese when you eat one burger. You don’t become an alcoholic after a couple of drinks. You don’t become a smoker after your first cigarette. But, but, but…
The first moves ignite the destructive initial fire. You do it once, you be more likely to do it later. You open your eyes one day and find yourself doing it for a year. You wonder how it all started? Let me tell you. You said, “Fuck it, let’s do it once who cares”.
The bad and good habits, both are learned in the same way, through practice. The lives can change after the change of habits because they determine our future.
Everything is related. There’s a relationship between the bottle of water on my desk and you. When I drink it, my mind works better and I start writing better. After you read my words, you become positively charged and radiate this positivity around you.
That’s why you should never underestimate the decisions you make every single day, especially making your bed because it’s how you start your day. Be awake and know that every decision is highly important in shaping your future. If you always remember that, you can never be deceived.
The power of the environment
Your character is not an entity only by itself. Human beings are social creatures and our identity is mostly shaped by our environment.
If your environment is like a negative energy ball that is full of fear, envy, anger, and hatred; the chances are you are going to drown right there.
Nonverbal communication is the base of education between all human beings. We have mirror neurons that play an essential part in our social life. They enable us to experience and reflect emotions automatically through imitation.
That’s why kids act like their parents and adopt their behaviors easily. Also, married people resemble each other more as time goes by.
Nature voluntarily forces human beings to harmonize with the influences of their environment. So we have no chance to obey the rules of nature as smart human beings. Successful people design their environment according to their goals and desires because they can’t leave it to chance.
Look at the majority again for better understanding. How do most people choose their mates?
It’s crazy but random circumstances build the foundations of human relationships.
People go to a public school and find themselves in a random class assigned by the government. This becomes the first place where they find their best friends. Most people are glad to choose the first job they find available to them right after graduation. Later, they end up getting married to a person who works in the same place as them. What a coincidence, ha?
Unlocking the uniqueness is not for everybody. You will need to face up to solitude and loneliness if that’s necessary. If you are strong enough, your face will be thicker because you will see the truth in people. Their hate is not personal, they just hate to live in a world they created for themselves.
Everybody is going through a spiritual war, they are fighting their own demons. You can’t expect support because people are already too busy, very few of them are the conquerors.
Did you quit smoking? There will always be a moron keep saying “Let’s have one, man”. Did you decide to lose weight? People will offer sugary and fatty food all the time. They will do it because they can’t live with the agony after you show them it is doable. You have to ignore naysayers and focus on yourself because the best answer is always to live a great life.
If you follow the path of the majority, you will always be destined to drift.
Do what’s hard and your life will be easy.
If your journey doesn’t challenge you, don’t expect to be changed by it. More comfortable mattresses, more delicious food, more cheerful friends…
Who goes for learning the bitter truth while there are lots of sweet alternatives available all the time? Who is willing to learn about pain, thirst, hunger, sadness? Even the idea of sorrow and anguish is not acceptable in the world we live in.
So if you’re part of the “Here we are, entertain us” community like it’s mentioned in the popular song of Nirvana -Smells like teen spirit, you are absolutely drifting.
A unique character is built by choices
Just like birds collect garbage from dumpsters, a grass from the ground, and a leaf from the tree to make a nest; we collect a page from a book, an insight from a blog, a scene from a movie, and build ourselves a personality.
I hope this article will be a good substance in your mixture.
Don’t ever stop adding something into it.
Even the boredom of doing something uninteresting is better than fooling around because it’s such a heavy burden to be useless.
Whenever you feel the pain, remember that you are doing it for yourself.
There’s also meaning in pain, sacrifice, and fatigue.
Even religions know this fact and always give hope about the afterlife because it’s not possible to live a pain-free life.
If you want a rainbow, you gotta let it rain first.
That has always been an unwavering rule of nature.
Let it rain, don’t escape from it.
Let it rain, and don’t stop.
Once you are there, you already know it’s there.
Until that day, see you, my friend.