Stop everything else for five minutes and read this carefully (if you can’t, try again in a few hours).
Think about who you are. Think about what is important to you. Set aside labels, names and affiliations and concentrate on identifying what makes you happy, what motivates you, and what you are afraid of.
What do you like to do, outside of doing things with or for others. Outside of work, sports, clubs or other aggregations of people. Ignoring these entities for a moment, think about what inside you is nourished or not by participating in or interacting with those groups.
It’s only been a minute, stay focused.
Set-aside who you are relative to anyone or anything else. Not an employee, not a student, not a parent, spouse or sibling. Not a competitor, not a species in a hierarchy, not an animal, vegetable or mineral.
Who is left? How well do you know this person? Write-down everything that comes to mind.
Now stop writing.
Read back what you wrote out-loud and savor each word in your mouth like you would an expensive meal or beverage. How does it taste? How does it feel on your tongue, in your nose, and throughout your body?
If a word offends your senses cross it out . If it resonates, leave it be. What’s left are clues that point to you.
Turn these words around in your mind, associate them with sounds, smells, images and other senses. As you do this, other clues may come to mind. Follow those as well.
It is very easy to forget who you are, and in doing so it is easy become lost. This is the most serious kind of lost, because you don’t know that it’s happened until something forces your to reorient yourself. When we are lost like this, we are susceptible to all sorts of manipulation, and it’s natural to mistake what this manipulation turns you into for who you are . Given this, it’s no surprise that those who benefit from manipulating you do everything they can to make any attempt to recover the real you feel wrong .
But this is just more of that.
We need you . Go back to your list, spend the remaining minute adding anything new, and put it somewhere you’ll find it the next time you can take five minutes to remember who you are.