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No pen, no ink, no table, no room, no time, no quiet, no inclination.
-- James Joyce


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You might have been in a conversation before where you had a brilliant train of thought running, but then stopped abruptly on the inability to remember a specific word.

"Oh lord, it's that thing - what is it? C'mon, you know. Good gravy - it's on the tip of my tongue. I can see it, fer crissakes!" And you fuddle around until it comes to you. You can't continue the conversation without it...

When you don't know the name of something - its identity - the world stops and waits until the thing is named.

We find security in identity. To know a thing as it is in truth is to be able to anchor to it and continue, When you know what something is - its name and its purpose - then it becomes useful. By giving it an identity, it belongs to the flow and conversation.

Ditto for people, and most of all, for you.

"Oh lord, I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do. Who am I supposed to be with? Where should I live? I feel like I should know, but I can't put my finger on it."

Here's the kicker: people are generally not very good at defining their place in the world. In May 2012, a survey of college graduates by Rutgers found that only 39% of graduates found that their job out of college very closely aligned with their major in college. For the rest, it was either kind of a fit, or not at all a fit. Further, only 22% defined their job out of college as right in line with the career path that they had chosen, where the rest either saw it as stepping stone toward their career or just a job to get them by.

If you took a few minutes to complete this statement:

I am ____________
How would you complete that?

Delivery driver?

Those are relatively factually based, but they lack flavor, so you might introduce some adjectives:


Many people don't know how to write this definition of self. They struggle. They might cheat, if you will, and ask their friends.

"Well, I asked my friends and they say that I'm kind and have a good sense of humor."

Or they might reach for something that acceptably defines who they are:

"Traditional Pisces Traits: Imaginative and sensitive, compassionate and kind, selfless and unworldly, intuitive and sympathetic. On the dark side... escapist and idealistic, secretive and vague, weak-willed and easily led."

On the other hand, consider the relative ease of describing the function of a hammer.

"Well, it's a tool. It has a handle and a weighted end that you swing toward a nail to push the nail into wood. A hammer is all about brute force. Carpenters use it. Some days, I'm tempted to use it on my boss."

Consider again the statement "I am ____________."

You are infinitely more complex than a hammer, but you should be able to give a rough definition of yourself without much hemming and hawing.

"I'm a woman, older than 30 (no, I'm not telling you). I have two amazing children and one begging for adoption. No, I'm just kidding. Well, maybe. I work in an accounting firm, but I'm not a CPA. Divorced. So if you know a good guy, I could use the help. Just kidding. Well, maybe not. Is he cute?"

If you ever visit dating web sites, it's not uncommon to run across a person where the author says that what you're reading is the third version of their profile. Why is it being rewritten and rewritten again? It didn't achieve the desired result. The profile wasn't producing the fit with someone for which the author had hoped.

The unemployed might create different versions of their resume to accentuate a particular strength for a particular job. Cover letters are written and rewritten to fit the specific job. You can't always control what job comes your way, but you can somewhat control how you can fit the available job.

You've probably heard the phrase, "Bloom where you are planted."

That statement is all about finding fit in the midst of the giant jigsaw puzzle that surrounds you. In so many ways, you take where you are planted for granted. Hence, make the best of it and bloom as best you can. It's reactionary. It's you shaping yourself in the best way you can to fit the pieces around you. And while that is an important skill, it's not optimum.

What if you first figured out how you bloom best and then planted yourself in the right spot for it? The cactus blossoms just fine in sandy conditions. A rose bush? It, um, struggles.

If you want to bloom in the best conditions possible, you have to be proactive. You have to forget the puzzle for the time being and focus on just you.

If there is a definition for Being, it is this:

"I choose to do the right things right in the right place and with the right people."
So the first question to answer is the question of "I" - who are you today and who do you want to be?

After you determine that, you then make the conscious choice to be that person you want to be. A lot of people dream it up and speak about it, but sometimes there is no solid "do" - no consistent action to follow up that desire.

Next, you consider what the "right things" are according to who you are and what strengths you possess. How to do them right is about practice in your niche and becoming expert.

Finally, where to best do them? With whom?

The more you think of these up front, the more likely you are to find the fit in life that you seek.


by Brett Rogers, 1/3/2013 6:47:01 AM


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