I spent the most of last week @ IIT Mumbai campus. After dinner, I used to go out on walks along the lake side, foot-ball field etc… During such walks I was thinking…
- I have a right hand. Using it I can lift objects, place them back, write on paper with a pen, type on the keyboard etc… But I am not the right hand.
- I have a left hand, but I am not the left hand.
- I have eyes through which I see the world. This is interesting, because I see the world through my eyes. But I am not eyes.
- I hear through my ears, but I am not ears.
- I have a brain, and think using it; but I am not the brain.
So far it was easy. But getting to the next two was a bit tough. I usually think of myself as someone who can write good software programs, someone who can take on risky ventures and see it through, someone who dares to do off-normal things, someone who is a little impatient and gets angry for little things, someone who lacks maturity at times. But since I was thinking along the lines (in bullet points) above, I came up with the following…
- I have some strengths, but I am not the strengths.
- I have some weaknesses, but I am not the weaknesses.
Who am I then?
I am not my strengths and weaknesses; I am the one that makes the strengths and weaknesses possible!
This ‘realization’ made me feel light. And then I remembered, that this exactly was what the “Identity” distinction in the Landmark Forum was all about.
We get so caught up in defining who we are as function of our strengths and weaknesses that we forget one undeniable truth: we made those strengths and weaknesses possible, but we are not those strengths and weaknesses.
That also goes to say: If I could make strength abc possible, I can also make def possible as well. The only thing stopping me is; well my self-made identity of who I am that exists right now as a function of my existing strengths and weaknesses.