“You are where you are because of who you were, but where you go depends entirely on who you choose to be.” – Hal Elmod
Have you ever honestly asked yourself who you really are? This is one of the most fascinating questions we can ask ourselves. The vast majority of people I have asked this question to reply using their names, culture, religion, position at work, social status, gender, race and the list goes on and on. I would like us to view this question differently going forward as I have realised that how we answer this question is directly related to our results in life.
Who you are is your self-identity, the way you look at yourself and your relationship with the world. See your religion, culture, position at work, race, gender, etc. as different masks that you wear when you perform certain roles, but it is not you.
We are limitless beings, boundless and full of possibilities. However, because of these masks or boxes we put ourselves in, we immediately limit ourselves. I have found that, in most cases, this comes from a need for acceptance, primarily from others. One of the roots of this tendency is the expectation that parents place on their children that they will “make something of their lives” … to justify the parental need to be perceived as a successful parent.
I was trained as a mechanical engineer and spent certain years of my life practising in the field. I did not see myself beyond this “box” thereby limiting myself to so many possibilities in life. I have since realised that whenever you define yourself as the ‘mask’ or ‘accountant’ or ‘engineer’ or ‘sweeper’ or ‘male’, you restrict yourself from the many possibilities life has. Defining yourself by the mask you are wearing creates a boundary, a separation from your divinity, your infinity, and your innocence.
The day I realised that I am an immaterial spirit trapped inside the body, that I am limitless, that I am innocent, that I am boundless, that I am infinite was the day I claimed my freedom. I started to realise that I was more than the mechanical engineer that I was made to believe I was. I soon realised that I was using a mask to box myself.
The danger with a mask is that it comes with rules and boundaries – how to think, act, behave, associate with etc. These rules prevent you from not thinking beyond the mask you are wearing (position you hold).
What I mean by rules is that an engineer must think like an engineer, not an accountant, artist, doctor, etc. and this is where the limits come in. As a human being you are full of possibilities and to explore these possibilities you need to come out of the box and live your life freely.
You have greatness within you, you have gifts, talents and abilities far beyond your imagination and to take advantage of your talents, take off the mask and see life in its entirety. You were born to express yourself and share your gifts and talents to the world and not to prove yourself to anyone.
Are you aware of your power and the possibilities in your life?
Veli Ndaba is, the Managing Director of Sekusile Technical Services.