Who are you?

So, tell us who are you?

While this clip from Anger Management is clearly over the top and comical there is something to learn from it.  Jack Nicholson’s character does have a point when he says playing tennis is something Adam Sandler DOES, but is not who he IS.  

As a culture we have really defined ourselves, for better or for worse, by our jobs and what we do.  It isn’t just jobs either, sports is a huge identifier.  The Super Bowl was just this past Sunday and with it millions of Ravens and 49ers fans made their homes  shrines to their team.  They followed their team all season through the rough spots and great victories all to get to this moment.

Then there is the pinnacle of group identification- patriotism.  There is nothing more powerful than uniting under your flag to be better than everyone else.  Why do you think we love the Olympics?  It is a way to quantify which nation is better.

I say all of this to make the point that all these things are things you do and what you identify with, but not who you are.

Let me propose this model for defining you: MAP

Missions- What drives you

Abilities- What you are good at.

Personality- How people see you.

These things are a more full idea of who you are.  What drives you, what are you good at, and how people see you.  When these three converge, the real you emerges.  Your deepest desires of what you want to do, and how you want to leave your mark on the world.  Then what you are just naturally good at, could you program a new game in your sleep?  Or maybe you love to knit and want to open up a custom hat/scarf store after college.

Then you have your personality.  This is the most visual of the three and how people perceive you.  Are you outgoing?  Quiet?  Maybe a little in between?  Maybe you are running the party as the emcee or you may be a wallflower.  Neither is a bad thing.

Because it is you.

So who are you?

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So you are a junior or senior in high school and wondering where to go from here.  You are taking AP classes, racking up the extra curricular activities, and getting ready for the dreaded SAT and ACT exams.  It is a crazy time to be in high school, and while the stress can seem overwhelming a good way to handle it is to have focus on where you are going.  So many students are doing sports, being part of clubs, or taking classes just because it is going to look good on their high school transcript.  The truth though?

Schools want to see a focused student.  Not someone who was OK at soccer, basket weaving, softball, disc golf, pottery, interpretive dance, golf, tennis, drama, and yearbook.

How do I focus on what is important then?  May I suggest a few steps:

1)  Sit down and think about what activities you enjoy and don’t enjoy doing.  Is there anything you outright hate doing?  Then stop!  Don’t like getting hit in the face every week on your dodgeball team?  Then, don’t go out for another season.

Note:  This doesn’t apply to high school as a whole.  DON’T drop out of high school!

2) Put your time into the things that you enjoy doing.  Now, that you have narrowed it down, you can devote more time to becoming a great writer for the newspaper or really hone your passing skills so those scouts at Ole’ Miss will notice you Friday night.

3)Let’s say you have thought through both of these and still aren’t sure what to do.  You still need some focus in life, but not sure where to turn.  May I suggest UCipher Graduate?  UCipher Grad will give you a clearer picture of who you are and some ideas on what to do for college.  Don’t worry it won’t pigeon hole you into telling you that you should be a plumber or a doctor, but will give you fields instead.  Get a discount on it by jumping over here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/UCipher/128162433874852?fref=ts

In the end, focus on what you want to do.  I paraphrase Paul Dino’s character Dwayne in Little Miss Sunshine when I say: Do what you love and forget the rest!

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