Besides “Where do we come from?” maybe “Who am I?” is the most frequently asked question people ask themselves. The question “Who am I?” can have the most simple, or on the other hand, the most complicated answer, depends on how you will answer it.
In 2009, I made a list of questions I asked myself in order to know myself better. I named the questionnaire “Self Introspection and Motivation Sheet”.
Here’s my questionnaire.
SELF INTROSPECTION & MOTIVATION SHEET
- I like it when people do this thing to me: (10 answers).
- I dislike when people do this thing to me: (10 answers).
- I like people who: (10 answers).
- I dislike people who: (10 answers).
- I am: (10 answers).
- I am not: (10 answers).
- The best thing I can do/give to others is: (1 answer).
- Thing I most appreciate in a person is: (1 answer).
- Am I a forgiving person? (Yes/No).
- I hardly forgive: (10 answers).
- I easily forgive: (10 answers).
- I want to be a person who: (10 answers).
- I don’t want to be a person who: (10 answers).
- Have I been the person I want me to be? (Yes/No).
- If not, what’s hindering me from being the person I want to be? (10 answers).
- Things I have to do in order to be the person I want to be: (10 answers).
- Things I have to change (internally) in order to be the person I want to be: (10 answers).
- Things I should not do in order to be the person I want to be: (10 answers).
Here is where imagination plays an important role. I like to imagine some scenarios about some problems, and what I think I would do in such situation. I predict my own response, and I “foresee” the consequences of my actions. I judge myself and what I do. I see myself from a third person point of view; I praise myself and I criticize myself. I learn what best to do and what best not to do. I imagine what people will think if they see me do something: is my action good or bad according to other people? What should I do to improve them? And so on.
From time to time, I would answer the questionnaire and compare it to the latest version I answered earlier. Along the time, I found that I have changed – to be a better version of myself.
So you see, people can change – people do change. The change is not fundamental; it does not change the core of you, it only modifies you, bit by bit, until you become the better person you want to be. It’s like a growing tree: you cannot change the nature of it, since the roots are already deep in the ground, but you can tend the branches, you can cut the tip, you can modify the leaves and flowers, etc. There are some things you cannot change about yourself, but there are still a lot more you can change to be the better version of you!
In order to change, you have to know what to change, and in order to know what to change, you have to know who you are currently. Here you need the skill to take a distance and observe yourself as a third person (to be able to get objective result). The rest is only about determination and motivation.
So before asking yourself “Who am I?” better ask first “How well do I know myself?”