Knowing Who You Are

Much of what I will blog about is the result of experiences in my life journey. While my journey is unique, in that it is my journey, everyone has their own personal journey, it is as unique as mine. While we are all different and as unique as our DNA, there is also a generic aspect to us, regardless of custom, colour or creed.

Getting to know yourself better will certainly allow you to recognize and appreciate your uniqueness..

I will share, with you, some of the lessons I have learned about myself, which have become so important to finding out who I am. I will share, with you, some of the thoughts and questions that I asked, which may help you in asking the right question at the right time, and hopefully help you  in getting to know yourself better. After all, this blog is about “you.”

It is necessary to be mindful of everything that happens in your life. There is a purpose and reason for everything.

The Thought Process
Deep in thought.

It is easy to convince ourselves that we know who we are. I did for many years, but there seemed to be a missing link  and I wasn’t sure what it was.

My Life was made up of good times, not so good times and bad times. It seemed that whatever the circumstances were  reflected how I felt.

Gradually, I began to realize and recognize that circumstances were controlling me and dictating how I felt. In most cases that dictated how I reacted and interacted with people. I wanted to change that. The question was, how? There were many self-help books available and I may have read most of them. It did not fill the void.

I had a certain mindset that was difficult, or I should say, impossible to change. I began to look at mindset, what got me thinking more than anything, was a sign in front of a dry cleaning establishment. The sign read “mindsets are like cement, all mixed up and set.” It no doubt was there to catch people’s attention and perhaps for a laugh. That was not so for me.

I began to think, “I am living in a knowledge based society, yet I am an experienced based person.” This was evident by my reaction to circumstances. It also gave a certain reality to that sign, my mind dictated to my brain and I relied almost entirely on what I had learned.

I was failing to capitalize on my experiences. Like that sign, I had a lot of knowledge from so many different sources, which was what I was relying on. It was no wonder my mind was set, and mixed up, I was defending other people’s truth.

Looking For Truth

My experiences for the most part has shaped me, who I was at that time and who I am now. Those experiences were my truths. Everything I had read and learned was another person’s truth. This explained, for me, the lack of confidence I had in my mindset.

A lot of my information came from other people, I had not reasoned it through, to see what, if anything, was applicable to me. Because it came from an outside source, I wasn’t sure of the accuracy. Not being sure of the accuracy of what I was learning, caused me to defend this knowledge, if I was questioned.

It was never necessary for me to defend my experiences, they were accurate. It was my experience and it was a part of me.

Thought Patterns

Certainly for the most part of my life I was a traditional thinker, so I went with the societal mindset. I am a visual person, this caused me to analyze things to a certain extent.

I was never much of a critical thinker, although it is used very often to arrive at a truth. I am not sure it arrives at a truth. It presents a problem or solution in a different way. This may not be a truth, because it is still a part of an original mind set. It may be a truth, but it may be another person’s truth and that has limited value for me and could even lead me astray.

I began, without realizing it, to become more of a lateral thinker. This changed a lot of things and opened up a whole new world.

The dictionary definition of lateral thinking is “the solving of problems by an indirect and creative approach, typically through viewing the problem in a new and unusual light.”

Viewing problems in a new and unusual light was definitely the direction I took, although I never considered whether it was lateral thinking or some other way. I really never gave it any thought. I was thinking outside the box, in many ways I was letting go of the box. This can be nerve wracking, but doesn’t have to be. Many times we fight against things that happen in our lives that are designed to make us better.

The approach I took, towards problem solving and understanding mysteries about myself and the world I live in, took an entirely different direction. This was not planned or thought about, I just took a different direction.

With hindsight being twenty-twenty vision, it was the best thing that could have happened to me. The reason I bring in lateral thinking at this point, it is to articulate in some small way, how I have arrived at most of the material on the posts of this blog.

To benefit from the posts in this blog, it will be necessary to be open to more of a lateral approach to thinking.

Directions followed to get to know myself
Seeking Direction

There was a void I wanted to fill. At one point it was very intense. I buried myself in work I began reading many self-help books. I felt there was more to life than what I was experiencing, though I had no idea what it was.

I was involved in community, church and service clubs, looking back, it was all in an effort to fill that void. I was relatively successful in my own business. I had a loving wife and seven beautiful children, that I was proud of, and lots of friends. This all centered on people or things outside of myself.

The question was me, and the question I was asking myself, who am I? Finding the answer took many years. I now realize it need not have taken many years.

It is an accepted fact that seniors view things somewhat different than when they were young. Experience from the years lived, begins to change a person’s attitude towards life.

That attitude can be experienced by a young person, if there is a tendency to assess each and every experience, and what there is to learn from it. Experience does shape us and help us find out who we are, no exceptions. We are in a way hard wired for success, yet it is our failures and the negative situations that can make us, if we don’t fight against them. Those negative experiences have the greatest value, yet for me, I wallowed in my failures and pain. In some ways I was ashamed of my failures, or what I perceived as a failure.

I studied the different religions and the Bible, all of it was to no avail. If anything it gave me more questions than answers. I was in my thirties, I left my job to further my studies, this time in Theology. I asked questions, and quickly realized that wasn’t allowed. I guess I was the type of person that wanted an answer to questions.

When no answer was given, I was told it was a paradox. This didn’t satisfy, although I was not negative in my questioning, it was deemed unacceptable and I was labeled a heretic. When it comes to religion that label puts you outside the box and put me, very much on my own.

Looking In The Mirror
My reflection

When you look in the mirror, the person you see is you, this post and subsequent posts is about “you” and getting to know yourself better. I don’t have any answer for you, my purpose is to encourage you to find the answer that is within you.

In each post I will put some of the gems that helped me find my sweet spot and hopefully help you.

My main thoughts in this post is capitalize on your experiences, especially the negative experiences, think things through, don’t be afraid of thinking outside the box.

If the experience is negative, you may have stepped out of the way or have taken a wrong turn. Use that to get back in the way that will take you to your destination.

I hope you enjoyed this post.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

All comments are appreciated, and I will reply to all.

Be Happy








10 Replies to “Getting To Know Yourself Better”

  1. For me my negative experiences have been the most helpful in life, and I have found the most helpful in finding my sweet spot. Not that I want negative experiences, but they are many times my greatest teacher. I also find that I enjoy the positive experiences more partly because of negative experiences.

  2. Russ,

    Reading “Getting to know Yourself Better” reminds me of going through my mid-life crisis so to speak, where I was wondering exactly who I was or why I was here on this earth.  At different stages in ones life I feel that everyone goes into these types of thoughts and tries to find the answers which are really just inside themselves but they must locate them.  I have found now in my senior years that I know who I am and still question other things about life, such as the why’s. Thank you for sharing how you are dealing with this and I am sure it will help others along their journey of getting to know who they are within their own beings.


    1. Thank you Susan for your comments.

       My greatest desire with this blog is to share in a transparent way my experiences, hopefully to encourage someone to realize how special they are all on their own. 

      You have come along way, when you know who you are. Keep yourself open to new thoughts and ideas and you will know the “why.”

      It is sad when we have to go through mid life crisis and become a senior before we realize some of those important issues that we really need the answer to when we were younger.

      Thanks again for your comments.


  3. Very interesting subject and extremely well written. 

    From my point of view, or from my own experiences, I feel I have uncovered more truth in my life directly off bad things that have happened – something seems to clear away and reveal a straighter path. I’m not exactly a negative person – but I gain a lot of knowledge from the ‘downs’ rather than the ‘ups’. 

    What are your views on this?

    1. I definitely agree that the downs are definitely our greatest teacher. They are designed to make us better, unfortunately many people become bitter and have lost the benefit of an amazing experience.

       It is difficult going through those down periods but if a person realizes, that is the road to growth and don’t fight it, and perhaps have someone to tell them it is part of the journey of life. Maneuvering through those negatives is what makes us positive.

       I plan to expand on this as I move into my blog.

       My analogy for life’s up and down’s has to do with nature. Rain is our downs or negatives, sunshine the ups or positives. Nothing grows without rain.

      Thank you so much for your comment.

  4. Experience s the best teacher. I have lot of challenges in my life, in fact a sometimes i was down emotionally. My experience was worst to the extent of think of ending my life myself. But there was a great day in my life when I went to the church on that faithful day. I sat at a corner waiting for the preacher to finish his preaching so I can go on my way. Some minute to finish the preaching that was how I was arrested by HOLY SPIRIT , it then brought me back to some of my past experience when some of my friend die mistriously , some fail woefully and many thought were ravaged within , then asked me did you ready to follow me? Then answered yes and since that day , it has been my mentor, teacher, guidian, comforter. So whatever ruminating within it appear to me and offer valid solution. So HOLY SPIRIT has ever faithful to me. Thank for offer this breast life experience.

    1. Thank you Adebayo for your comments.

      Keep engaged and follow the path you are on. You can’t go wrong. 

      Remember it is a time of growth for you, there will be ups and downs. The downs are as important as the ups. 

      Last year I walked the Camino, I went from France to Santiago in Spain. To get to my destination I had to cross the Pyrenees, which meant there were ups and downs. Every time I was going up, I knew on the other side I had to go down. This was my preparation for my next going up. I had to go through all this to reach my destination.

      Life is like that, enjoy the going down, it is only preparing you for the next up and if it’s not taking you to a higher height, your going to see new and different scenery.

       It is exciting.

  5. Experience is the best Teacher.  I have lot of challenges in my life, really a sometimes i was down emotionally. My experience was worst to the extent of thinking of ending my life by myself. But there was a faithful day in my vigor subsequently than I went to the church upon that loyal morning. I sat at a corner waiting for the preacher to finish his preaching hence I can go upon my magnification. Some minute to finish the preaching that was how I was arrested by HOLY SPIRIT , it moreover brought me confirmation to some of my appendix experience together surrounded by some of my pal die mistriously , some fail woefully and many thought were ravaged within me , subsequently asked me did you ready to follow me? Then answered yes and in the future that hours of morning , it has been my mentor, teacher, guidian, comforter. So all ruminating within it appear to me and money authentic frightful. So HOLY SPIRIT has ever loyal to me. Thank for meet the expense of this breast animatronics experience. This article is called science of experience

  6. Hey Russell, Thank you for this very interesting article. I agree with you when you said that a lot of the time we think we know ourselves when we really don’t. There are others who never get to know themselves because this can be very difficult. When I first graduated from high school, i was directed by false teachings from childhood which said “rely on grown-ups for guidance. they are wiser and can bring you to the right path”. of course it can be true, but most people use it as an excuse to manipulate others. So I found myself, since I had lost my parents, letting myself be guided by all kind of people who kept telling me either they know what”s best for me or that they will take my parent’s place.
    Of course at that time i felt fortunately. but it took me less than a year to realize that they were misleading me. No one else except my God knows me. I realized too that those same people who told me that they knew what was best for me didn’t know what was best for themselves. They failed and set me up for an even greater failure.
    After failing so much, I had to take things in my own hands and let my creator guide me instead. Truth is i’m still learning and my God has been leading me to paths that I didn’t know was my strength. And it’s amazing to discover new strengths, new desires, talents and even weaknesses. I guess for as long as we live, we will always discover new things about ourselves.
    Great article

    1. Thanks Rachel for the comment, appreciate it. I hope some of my next posts can be of value to you. If you have any questions at any time, feel free to contact me.
      Thank you and Happy Holidays

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