Cut the bullshit. Seriously, cut through all of the airbrushed, surface-level, perfect image bullshit. Strip away your college degree, your job title, your family history: look deeper.
What drives you? What motivates you? What do you love? What do you hate?
When you are alone, with nothing to distract you, no one to impress, and nothing to fake, who are you?
This is not an easy question to answer. It takes sincere and deep introspection. It takes continual revisiting. It takes facing harsh truths. It takes brutal honesty.
In other words, answering this question takes a shit load of work.
But it’s worth it.
Finding the “Core You”
Why should you even care about finding the “Core You”? Why does it even really matter? Well, it’s who you are, for one thing. You are a very intricate, complicated human being equipped with the power to accomplish, achieve, and succeed. You have the ability to use your talents and strengths to create an amazing story of adventure, struggle, perseverance, and success.
Exploring the “Core You” will give you the chance to use these skills to their greatest potential. It will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses, where you need improvement, and also where you excel. Overall, it will open the opportunity to create a truly amazing story.
This Is Going to Take Some Work
Answering this question is not going to be easy. Factors ranging from lazy peers to excessive technology will try to hold you back. You will have to fight the urge to turn on the T.V. and zone out. Most peers try to answer this question with titles and fake accomplishments, delaying it longer and longer. Don’t do that. Fight the fear and face the question head on.
The longer you wait, the bigger the responsibilities get, the harder the questions are to answer, and the harder to overcome the negative momentum.
So make the decision and start immediately. Figure out who the hell you are. Now.
3 Ways to Start Finding the “Core You”
There is no clear-cut map to figuring yourself out. Everybody is different. Everybody walks a different path. For me, I had to become a hermit for a year, spending hours with myself tackling endless difficult questions. Your path will be different and as you progress you will find specifically what works for you. But you have to start the journey. Here are three steps to get you going:
Meet & Talk
If you are between the age of 18-26 you should be meeting people like crazy. That means get the hell out there and talk to people of all different ages, interests, cultures, and upbringing. As many people as you can. Some of the biggest insights you will learn about yourself will happen while talking with others.
Still don’t have an idea of what you want to do with your life? Every two days we humans create as much data as was created from the beginning of time until 2006. Every TWO DAYS. And you have unlimited access to all of the information you want. So go use this information and start learning. You really have no excuse. Listen to Podcasts, watch TED talks, and read books like they are going out of style (about EVERYTHING).
Keep pushing yourself. Stuck? Keep pushing. Crank up the speed. Talk to more people, read more books, ask yourself more questions. Keep going, don’t stop. Whatever you need to do, do it. And actually do it, don’t make excuses. If you are in college, you have the perfect opportunity to branch out from the old you, to meet new people, to have new experiences, and to stretch your boundaries in order to learn about you. Use this valuable time to grow as much as possible.
This Question is A Bitch
Why? You will never get a full, complete answer. After taking hours and hours to wade through the surface level fog, to face the difficult truths, and to find an answer, an unexplored, deeper part of you will emerge. Then you start over, asking the questions again.
There is no definite answer to the “Core You”.
There are insights, awakenings, and puzzle pieces that hint at a more complete picture of yourself but in reality, there is not one true answer. You are continually evolving with different experiences, lessons, and knowledge, always adding your story. Once you answer one part of the question, the question reemerges with a new level ready to be investigated.
You will never figure out yourself completely. But that’s the best part: it keeps your story interesting.