Good Morning everyone and welcome to my first content filled post! I've thought quite abit about what to write so I decided to write about the primary issue that confronted me (and many other men) early on in my life. When adults encounter other child, one of the first things they is "What do you want to be when you grow up?" We've all heard this before, along with the various responses like "I want to be a policeman!" or "I wanna be a movie star!". Because of this question, we grow up with the desire to become whatever we aspire to be. The problem in today's society is the the aspiration to "be something" becomes the desire to "be someone", which, in my opinion, is the root cause of many of our internal issues.
I always wanted to be a soldier, and eventually became one when I enlisted in the Army in 1991. I later when on to become a commissioned officer in 1998 and served until 2005. Now from 1991 through 2005, what I did was also who I was. My job title was my indentity badge, and the higher up in rank I went, the more important this badge became for me. Life was great until 2004 when I became violent ill - so ill, in fact, that I was deemed unfit for service and went through a medical seperation board. During this entire process (during which my wife is 6 months pregnant with our son), my world turned upside down because my "badge" was being taken away. And on Feberuary 25, 2005, my badge was revoked and I was no longer who I thought I was and as far I was concerned, I was a failure.
The following decade was a long, miserable journey of trying to find myself through various occupations (while still suffering from poor health) but with no satisfactory results. It wasn't until August 2016, when I met a gentlemen who instantly recognized my pain and began mentoring me for the next few years. What his mentorship taugh me is that your indentity is not tied to any occupation (though the occupation can relate - more on this later). Your identity is solely based on your core values and personal experiences and once you know this, you'll find the inner peace that you're so desperately looking for (I sure did). You'll also gain the ability to see this problem in others that you meet. How many peoplehave you met that introduce themselves by there formal title? (Hello, I'm Dr. X, Phd in me). Its everywhere and mostly a male issue from my experience.
Please understand that your identity in life is not defined by your occupation or any other outside factor (including family, friends, enemies...). You were born into this world as a "somebody" and that "somebody" with grow and mature based on the experiences and wisdom acquired but the point is that "somebody" was always there - you were always there. of course, don't just take my word for it. As I've mentioned on my website, you have to purposely grow yourself and one of the best ways to do this is by reading. The book that opened my mind to this topic is "Being Happy" by Andrew Matthews. Andrew really drives on the subject of self-image (and EVRYTHING related!) in a humorous, yet effective manner. Check it out for yourself and please, let me know what you think.
Hopefully, this will post will helping you understand that you are unique and awesome and that no occupation or other factor that change that. I'll leave you with this quote from Chinese Philosopher, Lao Tzu: "Knowing others is intelligence. Knowing yourself is wisdom. Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power."