When The Dark Knight mentioned, “…It’s not who I am underneath… but what I *do*… that defines me…” , you know that you had just stumbled upon a quote that will be used philosophically by many.
In many ways, Batman is right. We are always judged, ostracized, punished , rewarded, acclaimed and lauded not by the personality or character that we bring to the table. In most cases, it is the very actions we do, that will ultimately be the template for definition. The saint who molested his followers, will not be vindicated for his righteous spiritual cores, but rather for that acts of atrocities. That has and might be the decorum for how society will place judgement on individuals. Your acts define you. Not the creed or values you hold.
Which brings me to that thought.
Who are you if you take out that very element that defines you?
A buddy of mine made the poignant statement, ” Who are you if you took out the salesmanship in you?” in reference to my career. The question stumped me for awhile. Not for its simplicity. But the deeper question that stirred me within. The truth is, after all these years, pretty much of who I am or was to many people, was closely associated with what I did as a career and during my leisure time. Which then again brought out that provoking thought within, that screamed, “But that’s not me…”
I have always envisioned myself as a personality that inspired. A beacon of creative success and free flowing inspiration. Yet, how I saw myself contrasted starkly with what I was doing, and what people were associating and defining me as. Wow. That realization just kinda snapped me out of a harsh reality check.
Imagine being at your own funeral, and hearing your eulogy being read out by a loved one. Halfway through, you realize that all the impressions people had of you, were so different from the kinda things you had actually wanted to portray and influence.
How can this all be?
You Probably Decided To Conform
Truth is, we probably got defined not by circumstances itself , but more by personal choices we took, dictated subconsciously. We might be adventurers at heart. Willing to forsake a life of commitment to marriage in order to explore the lush greens of the Amazon. Yet, we choose not to venture down that path cause pursuing that course will mean that we will be disappointing the hopes of our family. So what do we do? We conformed and lead the expected life. It will then not matter how you say, who you are and trying to be. Your actions will define you.
With that point in mind, I am now taking the conscious effort of aligning who I felt within, with what I am and will be doing. The consistency has to be apparent.
Of course, there will be moments when I know I will have to slip into that occasional bouts of swinging into an alter ego that is totally contrasting with who I am as a person. Even then, I will wanna make it a conscious and deliberate choice.
So think about this for a moment.
If you took out a single aspect of what you do today, by which, you have always been identified with…who are you and what will you be?
Share with me. 🙂