Wednesday, September 21, 2011

From the Outside: Asking the Right Questions

In the last post, I wrote about being an outsider and how as outsiders we tend to define ourselves by what we are not. We are not them but that doesn't necessarily mean we know who we are. We continue to ask, "Who Am I?"

Looking back at journals from 10 years ago, it is apparent that I have been asking this question for quite some time. But, now, a decade later, I realize that I've been asking the wrong question. My framework is completely wrong. Outsiders should not be asking ourselves who we are-- we should be asking ourselves who we want to be.

Within certain limits, we control who we are. It might be easier for others to direct their path because they have been born with more resources, biological factors that make their journey easier, or maybe because they have merely lucked into certain circumstances. But ultimately, we do have a significant ability to control our outcomes. We have the ability not to answer, "Who Am I?" but to become who we want to be.

How can we be expected to reach the right answers if we are asking the wrong questions?

Who do I want to be? What are the qualities that make up my ideal self?

That is how the outsider gets off the side of the road and determines the new path. The only thing left is the courage to follow it.

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