This is Me
What if we could read an instruction manual that describes a person’s identity? A modus operandi detailing a person’s values, temperament, character, tendencies, habits, and interests. Instead of spending years trying to get to know someone, you could instead read a document that explains who they are from their point of view. This document wouldn’t be a substitute to relationship building but a supplemental guide that invites further dialogue, reflection, and exploration. Identities are not set in stone, so this manual only captures that person at a moment in time. People have blind spots, and parts of ourselves will remain unknown, buried deep in the subconscious. Even with these limitations, as Socrates echoed, “the unexamined life is not worth living.”
I organized self-knowledge into the following categories: spiritual, intellectual, behavioral/psychological, financial, social, emotional, and physical. These categories are somewhat arbitrary, a way to add structure to complexity. The inspiration came from King, Warrior, Magician, Lover by psychologist Robert Moore and mythologist Douglas Gillette, who used Jungian archetypes to describe mature and immature models of masculinity. When I read this book in my early 20s, I was shocked by how accurately the negative archetypes described me—high chair tyrant, the know-it-all trickster, the dreamer, the grandstander bully. I knew I needed to change, and this book became my manual for self-improvement. Over time, I changed the KWML categories to suit my own interests and circumstances.
Not in a religious or transcendental sense, but in terms of virtue. This category is the driving force that guides my purpose, unlocks my potential, and builds a joie de vivre, answering the question: How to live?
Purpose & Manifesto
- I want a life of creativity, curiosity, culture, discovery, growth, learning, creation, challenge, novelty, exploration, experimentation, goodwill, mastery, virtue, and wisdom.
I want a value-oriented life and strive for excellence in all areas of my life: spiritual, intellectual, psychological, social, emotional, and physical.
I want to invest in lifelong relationships and in love (self-love, romance, family, friendships).
I want to test myself. I want to develop a warrior spirit. I welcome the strenuous life.
I want to inspire, educate, and light other people’s candles.
- Each day, I want to be superior to my former self.
How will you measure your life?
- By how many people I love who also love me.
- By my creations: books, letters, and ideas.
- By the amount of practical wisdom, learning, and knowledge.
- By living an authentic life of value, virtue and character.
- By adventure, culture, travel, exploration, and novelty.
- By the number of days I’ve “tap danced to work.”
- By the amount of “experience points” I’ve earned.
- By how many fires I have lit.
Using practical knowledge, reason, and wisdom to develop good judgment about life choices; and developing creativity to expand the spirit of novelty, creation, and discovery.
Money is like oxygen; you notice it mostly when you don’t have enough. Becoming financially independent requires discipline, financial literacy, and industry. A question I keep pondering, “How much is enough?”
Whereas character takes time to reveal itself, personality traits can be recognized relatively quickly. Moroever, personality and behavior are highly context-dependent; situations matter.
Developing emotional intelligence to perceive and understand emotions in ourselves and others; to access and generate emotions to assist thought; and to reflectively regulate them. Emotions are not inherently positive or negative; they are instruments of survival with motivational consequences.
As social animals, we organize ourselves in tribes and are designed to connect. Having social skills and a rich social network is a multiplier in life.
The warrior spirit is not simply to remain in good health, but to use this limitless power source as fuel to reach his or her goals and fight the battles of life.
Miscellaneous & Interests