How can you succeed if you don't know who you are?

Most of us learn pretty effectively to be something other than what we are.

Sometimes it happens by accident, in the sense that our parents, teachers, and other authorities, simply unconsciously pass their own conditioning on to us.

Sometimes it is quite deliberate, as well-meaning but misguided parents try to shape their children in their own image, without regard to who that child really is.

So we all end up away from who we really are, to some extent. And part of our job as grown-ups is to undo the damage and uncover who we really are.

When you’re aligned with your true self, life is simple and straight-forward. There’s a joy and freedom. You’re riding a wave, your energy is supporting you. You’re working with, rather than against, your own nature and life force. You can still be sad and in pain, but there’s a naturalness to it all. You don’t need to fight it.

When you’re not aligned with your true self, you have to fight to keep in control. Perhaps you end up on the personal development track, where you constantly have to work to get better at things. Better physically, better at managing relations, better at business and marketing, better at employee relations, better at strategy, better, better, better.

Getting better is great, but if you’re merely using better to cover up the pain that keeps you from being your true self, then you’re going to burn out from exhaustion. It requires tremendous amounts of energy and willpower to keep this treadmill going. At some point, you’re going to crash. In some ways, those of us with less strength and willpower end up being better off, because we’ll crash sooner.

You cannot expect to succeed if you keep fighting your nature. You’re going to spend way too much energy doing it, and you’re robbing yourself (and us) of your greatest resource.

The truly inspiring and meaningful successes are those where people go with their true nature, with the flow of their life force. People like Steve Jobs, DHH, Jon Stewart, Oprah, Richard Branson come to mind.

So your first job is to get back to who you truly are. The trouble, of course, is that most of us have long forgotten. And of course, there’s a lot of pain around those parts of ourselves that we have most disowned. How could it be otherwise? That pain is why we decided to abandon ourselves in the first place.

My advice? Make it your number one priority to reclaim all the abandoned parts of yourself, at any cost.

Success will follow much more naturally when you do.


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