Episode #150 Who Am I?

There is a reason we are called human beings rather than human doings. This week, Dr. Michael Brown and former NFL player and cofounder of GameChange Paul McDonald offer their perspectives on robust rhythms of self-exploration.

Show Notes

About 12 years ago I walked past a mirror, and I looked at myself, and I didn’t like what was staring back at me. And I realized at the time that, "Paul, you’re headed down the wrong path."
Paul McDonald

Five Problems

  • We typically only examine our identity and ask life’s most important questions in times of crisis.
  • Our careers will inevitably reach a peak, and it is often difficult to navigate and accept whatever comes next.
  • We will not wake up one day having become someone we have not been becoming.
  • The trophies we accumulate throughout life often fail to deliver on the happiness they promised.
  • At the end of our lives, our professional achievements will mean little compared to our deepest relationships.

Eight Principles

  • Before we can live a life of authenticity and intentionality, we must first discover the answer to the question, “Who am I?”
  • A stable sense of identity helps us to remain steady as we traverse each bump in the road of life.
  • When we remind others who they are, we don’t need to tell them as often what to do.
  • The most important thing about us is what comes into our minds when we think about ourselves.
  • Nothing shapes who we are becoming as much as what we choose to believe.
  • We already have everything we need.
  • While happiness is a product of external circumstances, joy is a product of our choices.
  • The final three seasons of life – investigation, influence, and inspiration – have their foundation in the first, which is identity.

Five Ponderings

  • What are my strengths?
  • What brings me joy?
  • What do I want to do?
  • Why am I here?
  • What is my purpose?

Three Practices

  • Read Thru the Tunnel: True Stories of Sports and Life That Empower Your Spirit by Paul McDonald.
  • Create regular rhythms of rest and reflection.
  • Take a roadtrip, a walk, or a journey dedicated to developing a clear sense of identity.

One Perspective

  • “Whatever we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.” – Otto Rank