When was the last time you thought about who you are?

Instead of just what you want to do, or have to do next, or when you should take lunch, etc.

I found myself pondering this question more and more over the last few weeks. I learned that to answer this question, I needed to spend more time being still with myself.

You can imagine the challenges of doing this. After all, real life doesn’t stop just because you do. Businesses need running, family needs quality time. You know how that is.

You’ll likely know the feeling of not knowing the answer though, too. Not knowing yourself becomes a frustration deep inside. You don’t gain knowledge of who you are just because you happen to be you.

You versus the world

We’re not always being our true selves. We’re often the shape of the hat we’re wearing at the time, and of the pressures we feel.

I’ve spotted this happen with myself. I can think of times in my life where the world has left a negative impression on me, back to when I was a boy.

If you think back, you’ll likely think of a few of your own.

And then there’s the times where you’ll remember being at your happiest. At your most relaxed, or most comfortable.

Where you’re completely you.

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” Chinese proverb

What’s the difference between those two versions of yourself?

It’s not just What, or even Why

The answer also lies in how you see the world.

This how is our motivator through all life situations.

I discovered that we instinctively feel and respond with unique motivators. Likely without thinking about it.

A motivator could be the need to understand life situations. “How does that work?” People with a motivator like that will seek to learn through every situation. They will see the world in opportunities to learn.

Another motivator could be a search for justice. “Is that upright?” These people will explore the world with an ever-present gavel of peace.

I discovered that my motivator is a search for what matters in a situation. “What are we really trying to acheive here?” I look through tasks and titles to find an underlying significance. To subtract pain, and add delight.

Find your motivator

Understanding your motivator helps you to be true to yourself.

Without it, you may find yourself looking to the world for permission to be happy.

With it, you are a unique gift to the world.