Creating your own identity
In a world constantly trying to tell you who you should be, it's never been more difficult to build the courage to forge your own path. Our life goals are entirely perspectival - it is up to you. What's important is the strategy that will get us there. Building a personal philosophy comes down to answering 5 fundamental questions.
1. What are your values?
Consider what are the true values in your life - it is best to narrow down your core values to less than five. If you list too many, they will no longer become priorities. Figuring out these core values helps you with the tough decisions. What do you do when you have many competing factors to weigh? Ignore that. Instead, ask yourself if it violates any of your core five values. If so? Move on.
2. What are your habits?
Habits are unique to each of us. While we can look to others for inspiration, ultimately our habits must be made based on our unique traits. It is important to start with the small things - the things that don't seem like they will do anything, but end up slowly changing your life. For instance, the decision to take a walk daily before work. The thing with setting new habits is not how much they will change your life now, but in the future.
3. What is your mindset?
Two types of mindsets exist - a fixed mindset and a growth mindset. People with a fixed mindset believe that their traits are fixed. They see their skills as permanent, and that talent breeds success rather than effort. A growth mindset is the opposite - they believe that their skills increase with experience. They believe that a person's effort is a core factor in their success. Adopting a growth mindset is imperative to foster positive change.
4. What is your ‘enough'?
When you find your ‘enough', it transcends all superficial goals. It's about knowing what you want at the end of the day - whether it's a teammate in life, to earn a living doing work you are proud of or to contribute to society in a meaningful way. It's to get to the point where you can look at your surroundings and say, ‘This is all I need. This is enough.'
5. What friction can I minimise?
Creating a personal philosophy is easy but maintaining one is hard. There will be things that will test you - since these will largely be unavoidable, you will have to make a game plan to combat them or at the very least, minimise the chance that these will steer you away from your end goal.
Make a good life yourself
Don't look to others on how to live a good life - make it yourself. It is not about inventing a new you, it's about finding the you that's been within you all along, buried underneath all the things that society tries to convince you with as to who you should be. You have to recognise who you are and unabashedly live out that identity.