Monday, August 17, 2009

Knowing Who You Are

Ever wonder how others see you? Now someone at MIT has designed an application called Personas that will tell you how the internet sees you.

One of the most profound things that you can discover in life is to figure out who you are.

The funny thing is, Who You Are can change.

I have some clients who don't want to go back to what they had been doing. Who are ready to do something else. As one put it:

~ "I don't want to be that guy anymore."

This is not a trivial decision. It bears directly on one's identity. And sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Nor is this an easy decision. Nor is it without risk. Or cost.

And it brings a puzzle: if I am choosing to not go back to Who I Was, then Who Will I Be next?

Some people know what they want to do. My father was a cop. When he retired from the police department, we encouraged him to do something new, to keep busy. We suggested that he consult or teach. We were concerned that he wouldn't have enough to do. That he'd be bored.

He did not want to hear our ideas. I remember him saying, "I've worked enough. I'm done."

He was sixty years old. The year was 1984.

A lot has changed since then. Now people in their 50's and 60's are wondering, Do I really want to go back to what I was doing?

Some are asking, What will I do for an encore? Who do I want to be next?

Posted by Terrence Seamon, August 20, 2009

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