You meet someone for the first time. The first meaningful communication exchange, is generally your names. What next?
Does the person try to understand “who you are” by trying to ask probing questions? Could be something like –
“What do you do?” or
“Where are you from?” or
“How do you like the party?”
Or maybe share additional information about themselves to reveal “who they are”? Could be something like –
“I am from India, Mumbai” or
“I work for Apple in their iOS division” or
“Great party! I am a friend of Sundar. How about you?”
Knowing your own identity is a first step to focusing on anything else in life.
The first thing any human will try to understand when they talk to someone, is the person’s identity. The first thing any human also explains to anyone they have met, is their own identity. So, do you know who you are?
If not, it would be a good thing to start thinking about it right now, since everything that happens in your life, revolves around the concept of identity.
For example – I am a Father to a Daughter. And being a parent, a Father at that, is one of the TOP priorities of my life. Once I am clear of my identity as a Father, the next steps become so much more clear.
* Being a good Father gives purpose to my life
* I follow good habits, since children learn by action, not words
* I learn storytelling, negotiation skills, knowledge sharing, new jokes
Once I am clear of my identity as a Father, the purpose and goals become clear. These goals can be used to setup habits. For example –
Identity – Father
Purpose – Be a good Father
Goals – Raise my daughter to be knowledgeable, healthy, kind and happy
Habits – Develop a routine in which I talk to her daily
Spend additional time with her on weekends
Meet with the family once every couple of months
Once the habits linked to an identity are formed and put on a disciplined, auto mode, it brings a certain sense of peace and calm to your life.
1 person can have multiple set of identities from a personal and professional perspective. In my case, I think the below is a fair list:
Family – Son, Brother, Husband, Father
Work – Software Developer, Leader, Inclusion & Diversity Champion
Health – Fit, Obese, Mildly fat, Professional at Sports (super-fit)
Finance – Rich, Poor, Middle Class, Upper Middle Class
Hobbies – Book Reader, Blog writer, Video Game Enthusiast, Globe Traveler
Religious – Hindu, Punjabi, Maharashtrian
Nationality – Indian, Asian, Earthling
So, for every single identity, create your goals and habit map, and start following it religiously.
For health, set goals and habits related to exercise and food
For finance, set goals and habits related to savings and investments
For hobbies, set goals and habits related to time spent doing those activities, not just thinking about them 😉
Like James Clear mentions in his book, Atomic Habits, start small and pick 1 habit to follow at a time. But stick to it – the compounding effect is what is most important. It will take a year or more, but at the end, you will have sorted out many things in your life, and achieved a sense of peace and calm in your life. As a matter of fact, it will bring a sense of peace and calm also to the people immediately around you.
To summarize –
Every single identity, provides a purpose and a set of goals to your life. Converting these goals into habits / tasks will help you go a long way into achieving a sense of achievement, peace and calm in your life. Try it.
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3 thoughts on “On Identity, Habits & Peace”
Very well written
Thank you Aparna