2013 is devoted to one, very single-minded task: getting out of debt.
This year, I will also finish Being and Freeing, the two books that are the follow-up to Seeing. Being is well on its way.
The running definition for Being is:
I choose to do the right things right, in the right place and with the right people.After the introduction, there is this section:Who Are You?
If you type the search phrase "personality test" into Google, it returns over 100 million pages in response. And it's likely a safe bet that you, like millions of others before you, have used one of these myriad personality tests, if only to discover that the Star Trek character you most resemble is Captain Kirk. Or Deanna Troi. Or perhaps Spock.
Just hopefully not the expendable crewmember.
You might have taken the Myers-Briggs test, the Color Quiz, a Chemistry analysis at a dating web site... all in search of knowing more about you.
So, after all that, who are you? Did you find out?
If you think about it, that question makes no sense - you've spent, quite literally, your entire life with you; and yet, you still look to outside definitions and validation of who you are.
Personality tests grow in popularity for one reason: it's difficult to find a good mirror.
It's not that you don't know who you are. It's that you want to know how you appear to others.
Think about it: you know what your favorite color is. You remember the name of your first crush. You were there when your best birthday happened.
You know all of the intimate details about you, and yet you occasionally want to take a test to find out more about you - according to the measure of someone else. That's what it is really all about. How do you measure up to others? Where do they think you belong? How do they see you?
You do it for one reason, and it's the same reason all of us do... relationships. It's far less about discovering who you are than it is about discovering where you fit into the world.
Imagine a gigantic jigsaw puzzle, spanning the continent. You are one unique, interlocking piece. Where do you fit?
Partially, it depends on the placement of others around you. You, as a piece, have a relationship to the pieces around you and so it's important to know how you fit in. Personality tests only matter in the context of others. These tests analyze your appearance, reputation, habits, vocabulary, behavior, friendships, career, hobbies, Zodiac sign, home, vices...
The tests assert that the definition of you is somewhat irrelevant until it appears in the context of the larger puzzle. Ultimately, through a test, you're trying to answer the simple question:
Where do I fit?So as you work to position and shape the puzzle piece of you into the larger puzzle, you look around at others to see how you fit. You move your corners and shape your extensions to snap into place in the alcove of another piece.
And then you grow aggravated as you notice, when you look around, that the entire puzzle is moving - every piece, jostling and shifting just as you are.
"Don't move! I fit there! See? - Hey wait - that was my spot. You don't fit there! Dammit - STOP!"
But life keeps up its turbulent transitions and just when you finally find your spot - you fit! - you suddenly find that you didn't really fit that spot and you pop out of place.
That's the gist of it - life is always changing. And you have no control.
It's easy to get mad about that. It is. You expected that the peaceful luxury of assembling a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle on a rainy Sunday afternoon would settle into your world and allow you the quiet contentment of easy placement.
But the world is rarely as secure as it's imagined to be, and that's usually because you look to others to hand you the definition of you. The key to security is to own your own identity - to know who you are from the inside out without the need for the confirmation of others.
In life, you can try to fit into the puzzle in the context of others.
Or you can start your own puzzle and be the first piece.