Who we are is not a destination but a journey

Who we are is not a destination but a journey

“Somehow, we’ll find it. The balance between whom we wish to be and whom we need to be. But for now, we simply have to be satisfied with who we are.”
― Brandon SandersonThe Hero of Ages

Who we are is not definitive.

Unforeseen challenges and personal discoveries are a consistent part of everyone’s life, and both conspire to heavily influence who we ultimately are at any given stage.

Many people believe that once you begin to figure out who you are, typically when you’re in your late teens, you’ll remain that person for the rest of your existence.

Could you imagine your eighteen-year-old self being prepared for the responsibilities of adulthood without some kind of change in mind and spirit? No, you probably can’t.

Which is why who we are is a journey – not a destination.

But as the circumstances along the journey undoubtedly change – some for the better and some for the worse – there’s always one thing we often overlook in the process of finding out who we are.

One trait that’s perhaps more important towards defining who we are than any other quality could ever be.

I’m talking about character.

If you randomly asked people how they would define who they are, many would give you their occupation (I’m a teacher, lawyer, plumber or even retired).

Others would give you their status in the family (I’m a wife, father, caregiver). Some might even use their hobbies to define themselves (I’m a fisherman, writer, dancer, sports nut).

But in defining who we truly are, when was the last time you defined yourself as a person of character?

In an article published by Hara Estroff Marano and Anna Yusim, M.D. on Psychology Today they write, “Life provides turning points of many kinds, but the most powerful of all may be character-revealing moments. They go right to the heart of who we are.”

For some, the battle to find who we are in this life can be daunting as we try to measure ourselves up against societal criteria that is more about status than integrity.

More about what we accumulate rather than what we give.

More about self-gratification than about character.

As Sanderson said above, “But for now, we simply have to be satisfied with who we are”. If that in fact is a person of character, it’s time to be proud of the person you see in the mirror.