As he stares into his reflection in the water, he asks, “Who am I?” and with that, Derek Zoolander starts his journey to rediscover his identity. Though we may not be really ridiculously good looking like Derek, we all are asking this question and defining the answer every day. To navigate decision making in our life that aligns with the person we want to become, we need to define the core priorities in our life.
“Every action we take is a vote for the type of person we wish to become.”
Options and Opportunities
Whether we have total freedom with our schedule or a full load, the choices we make will send down the path of purpose and impact, or they will send us down the rabbit hole. In my journey, the objective I seek to achieve through it all is clarity. Clarity is the ability to say yes or no when given a decision, the ability to feel good about that decision, and the ability to follow through on the decision that was made.
We live in a world of seemingly endless options and opportunities, and the difference between seeing this as freedom or oppression comes down to our ability to make choices with clarity and confidence and commitment. Have you ever felt weighed down by simple decisions? “Do you want to meet on Wednesday or Thursday? Breakfast or lunch? Which restaurant?”
Three minor decisions that lead toward the same goal, connecting with another person. There isn’t a bad decision, just a scheduling preference, but have you ever found these decisions hard to make at the moment? Have you ever second-guessed your plans after they were set? I know that I have. In this scenario, if connecting with another person aligns with my life direction, then the minor nonessential choices, like what time? should not be that difficult to make or rest on my shoulders like a burden. That feeling is usually a sign of greater uncertainty in life.
Taking Steps Toward Clarity
FOMO (fear of missing out), decision paralysis, restlessness; these are all terms used to describe that feeling of uncertainty or angst that can develop in our life when we either refuse to make a choice or are not confident in the choices made. For me, these feelings direct me toward actions to bring clarity. Meditation, exercise, prayer, calling up a friend, reading a book, or grabbing a pen and paper are ways that I have found to calm the restlessness and open the door to honest self-reflection and insight.
“Life is about making choices, seeing those choices through, and living through consequences.”
Establishing and Re-establishing Priorities
What are your priorities in life? As a spouse, the choice to love and honor your partner establishes a priority that will give clarity and confidence when making choices that affect that love and honor. If we choose to be an honest person, being dishonest becomes difficult. If you want to be a symbol of love and light in the lives of others, then you will make choices that lift others up instead of tearing them down.
I need to revisit and re-establish these priorities in my life regularly because if I don’t make the effort to strengthen the core of who I am, I become weak. For a solid core, a strong foundation, we need to feed ourselves the good stuff, and put in the work to build that strength. We must have a strong understanding of who we are so that we can then spend our time making decisions that impact the world around us.
With the political, economic, and social unrest that we are living in right now, we need to choose how we will respond. We must decide what we stand for so that we can stand for what we believe. We can choose to tip the scales of our nation towards justice and equality, or we can choose to step back and let others decide for us. So in these times, please join me in asking the ever-important and relevant question, “Who am I?”