What Matters?

Who Are You, Really?

I was listening to a speaker recently who said, “Tell me what you do with your time. Tell me your passions, interests, what is important to do when you have free time, what you watch on TV, what you read, if you read, and I will know who you are as a person. If you spend most of your time on meaningful tasks, you have become or are becoming a meaningful person, if all you do is shallow and superficial, then that is who you will become.”

Have you ever asked yourself, “Who am I?” Have you ever even pondered the question?

It is like asking a person what do you do? They respond, “I am a doctor,” or “I am a CEO,” or a salesman, researcher, etc. My response is, no, that is what you have become, but not who you are.

I have discovered reading!

Now that may seem to be a strange public acknowledgement, but it is true. In the past I had not been a reader of anything that did not have to do with business or my career. I just had not discovered the value of it. I was too restless, too impatient, too naïve in understanding what I would gain from this time. BOY WAS I WRONG!

What Matters - Books PhotoI have been reading personal development works by Brené Brown, spiritual books by Rick Warren, Brennan Manning, and the Bible. I have started reading interesting books for the sheer joy of just reading. I’ve also become interested in Minnesota-based mystery books by local authors and have been receiving recommendations from others of books I should read as they are learning that this is a personal interest.

Regardless of what I am reading at the time, I have found value: Value that may be is as simple as relaxing enjoyment, Value in reading something that resonates with me in terms of imperfections that I need to decide if I care enough to adjust, Value in spiritual understanding and developing an intimate relationship with my God, Value in just challenging my mind and thoughts on a topic, Value in something that makes me a more interesting and broader person, reading something that I have enjoyed and may be of interest to those around me.

Looking at the compilation of my reading, here is a personal discovery (interesting at least to me) that I am learning to embrace from my reading, as it has created a new level of comfort, calmness, and perspective:

When I accept myself as whom I am, that I am “good enough.” I feel a decrease a hunger for power and control because my comfort with acceptance and intimacy increases my inner sense of security. I no longer try to “fit in” and instead find that I want to “belong.” I have a diminished NEED for being powerful or popular. I no longer fear criticism as I accept my shortcomings and personal human limitations. I have learned and understand that learning, transformation and maturity is an endless process.

Reading is allowing me to define more of who I am.

If there are any books you would highly recommend, jot a note in the comments section. I would love to hear from you.


4 thoughts on “What Matters?

  1. Bob–beyond the metaphysical and the search for specific knowledge–reading is just good entertainment.

    I enjoy reading a John D. McDonald mystery–the prolific writer not only spins a good story, but includes bits of history to entertain and inform the reader–and also makes personal observations on the human condition. I read a lot of airplane books and magazines (and actually enjoy them!) but when I want to lose myself in entertainment, I go to my favorite authors–McDonald, Alistair McLean, and Ernest K Gann. It’s like having a conversation with the author–all of them inform, entertain, and offer personal observations.

    I also read travel and history books–both for the information, but as the basis for travel–I’ve been able to put myself on the scene of a WW I battle in the Somme–and at Bletchely Park in England–where they broke the Enigma German code. I’ve been inside most of the historic buildings at Pearl Harbor–not generally open to the public–and at the Falaise Pocket in France, where there were 250,000 German casualties/prisoners.

    I agree with you about reading–when I visit someone’s home, I look at their bookshelf to see what they have read–I get a good feel for who they are.


  2. A good author for reading and reflection: Henri Nouwen. A whole list of small but meaningful books. One I am currently reading for purposes of sharping my own calling, but also helping others develop is “Making your Job a Calling: How the Psychology of Vocation can Change Your Life at Work” by Bryan J. Dik (personal friend) and Ryan D. Duffy.

    Liked by 1 person

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