Just who are you anyway?

What do you rely on for your happiness?

Do you make your own happiness? Or do you wait for it to come to you?

Do you create your own future? Or do you rely on tarot readings an fortune tellers?

Do you blaze your own path? Or do you follow people around you?

Do you work alone? Or do you prefer to run with the crowd?

These are not right and wrong answer questions. These are questions about who you are. Knowing who you are is important for making decisions in your life.

No matter how much you might fall in love with somebody because you share interests or because you like how they look or talk or smell, if you want to build a lifetime together, the person had better be compatible at a much more fundamental level.

Your next job might seem like fun because of the subject matter. Or the pay. Or because of location, or the company’s reputation. But if your position is not compatible with your personality, you will neither excel at you job nor enjoy it very much. It is one of the great urban legends that if somebody is a good vice president, they should be promoted to president. It takes a totally different personality to excel at being number one than at being number two.

You don’t have to be psychic to find your ideal place in the world. But you do have to know yourself.

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Resentment is Poison

When we hold onto resentment, the only person we are hurting is ourselves. Let go. Let go. Free yourself!

I love this quote by Carrie Fisher: “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

She talks about resentment, but I have pretty much said the same thing about anger and blame and hate.  In fact, any negative feelings you hold toward someone else fits this quote well.


Because negative feelings hurt the feeler.  In very few cases does the other person even know – and if she knows, doesn’t even care – that you hate her or resent her or blame her.  But as long as you feel these things, you are burning up inside.  These feelings are poison, and they will eat away at you – all the more so out of frustration that the other person isn’t dying from the poison you swallow.

Is there an answer to this problem?  There is, but … you might not want to hear it.


You might not be able to forget, but you can forgive.  Yes, pretty much everything can be forgiven, no matter how odious the crime.  Forgiveness does not make anybody more or less guilty.  Nor does it undo anything that has been done.  But it does let you come to terms with what has happened and move on to live the rest of your life without a huge weight around your neck.

I am not saying that despicable criminals should not be brought to justice.  I am saying that hating and resenting and blaming them won’t bring them to justice – but it will unjustly corrode your own self.

Working Your Self-protrait

“Every man’s work, whether it be literature or music or pictures or architecture or anything else, is always a portrait of himself.”

Samuel Butler one-ups the you-are-what-you-eat crowd, with his you-are-what-you-do idea.  Or at least, our portraits are what we do. But are these our most accurate portraits? Or are there other things, besides work, that better define us? That draw sharper lines? That paint clearer colors?

Abraham Harold Maslow came up with the term “self-actualization”.  He said, essentially that a painter has to paint.  That a cook has to cook.  That a pilot has to fly.  That we are what we do, that we are driven to do what we do.  But is “what we do” our careers?  Or is what we do the rest of the stuff?

I am a hiker, I must hike.  Well, I wish I could hike a lot more than I do, but I think that description defines me better than what I do for a living.  Is Samuel Butler’s “every man’s work” necessarily what he does for a living?  Maybe in a majority of cases it is.  Which is a sad statement.  Or maybe it is a happy statement, if it means people are doing what they really love.

What do you think?