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Four Essential Reflections To Assist In Discovering The Real You

by Jazz Parks 3 months ago in advice

So, who are you?

Four Essential Reflections To Assist In Discovering The Real You
Photo by Caroline Veronez on Unsplash

If I were to ask you a simple question, could you give me a simple answer? Let’s give it a shot.

Who are you?

If you really think about it, the above question has been one of the most controversial questions of our times. How can you put a label on your identity? And if you could pick a label, what would it be?

We spend most of our lives putting labels on others and ourselves, yet, when asked this simple question — who are you? — I rarely find the answer that Im looking for.

When asked this seemingly simple question, you see some reply with their job status (car salesman, doctor, barber), yet others might reply with their social status (father, wife, husband).

The thing is, you’re not defined— or at least shouldn’t define yourself — based on your position or status in life. Your job could end tomorrow, and your relationship may not last forever. Things change, people change, and when they do — who will you be?

Losing Focus

As kids, we envisioned these bright futures with lofty ambitions. Yet, at the same time, we wanted nothing more than to be in the moment, being true to ourselves. But somewhere along this road called life, we lost ourselves. Stress, financial pressure, familial drama, and social expectations all have a hand in why we are who we are today.

So what can you do?

How can you gain a deeper connection with your true self?

By practicing self-reflection. Asking yourself deeply, meaningful questions to discover parts of yourself that may have been forgotten over time.

Below I’ve provided four compelling reflections that, if followed, have the power to completely change your current perspective of both yourself and the life that you currently live.

I highly recommend recording these reflections in your journal. If you aren’t currently using a journal, I highly recommend doing so.

So without further ado, follow along and (hopefully) discover a new side of you.

1.) What brought you joy as a child?

Think back to your early years as a child, when you were free from the daily struggles and anxieties that we commonly deal with now as adults.

Recall some of your fondest memories; times spent playing with friends, exploring new hobbies, learning about the world and everything in it. Try and remember specific moments as a child that brought true, limitless joy.

When I was young, I loved to ride my skateboard, draw, read, and write. Looking back even further, however, I realize that I also had a deep passion for inventing. It started around 3rd grade when I made my first 3D paper robot and sold it to my English teacher for $1. Some years later, I “invented” an off-road skateboard due to the crappy road conditions where I lived at the time.

Thinking about it, my passion for inventing wasn’t related to anything specific; I just had a passion for making things. It didn’t matter if it was a drawing, a story, or a cool invention. Making something from nothing always brought me a sense of accomplishment. A “good” feeling.

Over the years, however, due to stress and financial obligations, I abandoned my passions to focus on my work. As time went by, I slowly forgot about my passion and instead dived into a passive depression, a 9–5 grind, with no hope of getting out.

However, since reflecting on my childhood, I’ve decided to pick up a few of my long-forgotten hobbies. I’m not making paper robots anytime soon, but I recently published a book, got back into drawing, and even broke my skateboard out of storage. Since then, my life has had a certain sense of “ease” and fulfillment. I’m no longer constantly focusing on my daily stresses but instead taking some well-needed time to focus on my childhood passions.

2.) What do you desire?

We all want things in life, but it takes true effort to desire something. To have a desire, you have to be intentional. I can want a cigarette, but I’ve never desired one.

So ask yourself, what do you desire? If I were you, I’d spend a good chunk of time dedicated to answering this question. Let your mind wander, and don’t limit yourself by your current reality.

What kind of life do you desire?

Where do you desire to live?

What are the foods that you desire to incorporate into your diet daily?

What are the hobbies/activities that you desire to do on a weekly/monthly basis?

Notice how I said desire instead of want for each of those questions? I could have easily replaced desire with want, but desire comes from a deep place within, whereas “wants” are merely influences based on your current perspective.

Wants are triggered by subconscious external influences, whereas desires are deep, burning needs for fulfillment.

To discover who you are, you must first focus on the person that you desire to become.

3.) What are three of your fondest memories?

What do you value more, your memories or your possessions? In today’s age, ripe with consumerism, many of us devote our time to making money but then spend that money on useless possessions instead of forging new memories with loved ones.

Life is all about experiences. To be specific, Life is about creating memories. After all, when we die, our memories will be the only thing we get to take with us. So think back. Take your time. Think of your accomplishments, special moments out with friends, even those memories as a child when grandma would bake cookies and let you play the Nintendo 64 — especially those kinds of moments.

Spend some time really focusing on your past highlights, and then try your best to pick three of your best memories. When you think about them, these should be memories that bring feelings of immense joy, satisfaction, comfort, possibly followed by other feelings like love, excitement, adrenaline, or even motivation. Memories are like fuel. So why not make more? Now that you have your top three, why not spend the rest of your life trying to make new memories like those. I should clarify that im not suggesting you attempt to re-live your memories over and over, but rather, that you should focus on creating new memories that hold as much — if not more — power than your current top three!

4.) What’s one regret that haunts you the most?

We all make mistakes. Most of them we brush off, learn our lesson, and move on, but some of them cling to us and — unless confronted —evolve into regrets that can last a lifetime.

Maybe you hurt somebody in the past.

Maybe you were caught cheating, really hurting somebody who trusted you.

Maybe you bullied somebody, and it messed them up badly.

Maybe you did something that seemed harmless at the time but later realized to be cruel, shameful, dishonest, and eventually grew to regret it.

Other times, our regrets may not necessarily involve another person, but instead, something you did (or didn’t do) that affected your life.

Maybe you dropped out of school but wished you didn’t.

Maybe you cashed out your dogecoin before it spiked 1,100%

Maybe you did something that holds a heavy influence on the life that you’re currently living, and you wish for nothing more than to go back with the knowledge that you have now and make better decisions.

We cling to these regrets until we reach a point where our lives become affected, bringing anxiety, anger, depression, and even — in extreme cases — suicidal thoughts.

The thing is, if we can learn to confront these regrets, we can learn from them, bettering our lives and the lives of those around us.

Regrets are no different than a mistake, except they hold a heavier impact on your life. But the bigger the mistake, the more there is to learn.

If your regret involves somebody else, then the first step might be to practice self-forgiveness. Sometimes it’s easy for others to forgive you, but it may be harder for you to forgive yourself. Once you can forgive yourself, you can then learn from the mistake and commit to never letting it happen again.

Again, a regret is only a mistake made in the past, just one with heavier consequences. Don’t linger on the past. Use whatever power you have to learn from your mistakes and move on. Let them mold you into the person that you desire to become.

Our deepest regrets reveal our innate morals and values.

Write down these four reflections and, as times change, return to them and see what’s changed — how you’ve changed. Gaining a deeper understanding of yourself and your life is the best thing you could do for yourself.

1.) What brought you the most joy as a child?

2.) What do you desire?

3.) What are three of your fondest memories?

4.) What’s one regret that haunts you the most?

Jazz Parks
Jazz Parks
Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Jazz Parks

Father | Husband | Oldest of 6 | Born in Bellingham, Wa |

I firmly believe that to know a man, you must first know his goals. My current goals: pay off all debt, invest 20% down on a home, and travel as much as possible!

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