Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Everything follows Why (4)

Often we fool ourselves by claiming that we haven’t changed. Our appearance, behaviour, character, goals, innocence, and even our core values in life do change. For some this change implies progress and for others not but we are never ever the same person. Life’s experiences and especially its scars do shape us. It’s like the (same!) boy on the cover of the U2 albums Boy and War (excerpt from my 24 September 2015 blog).

I was reminded of these words after reading a 19 February 2017 Quartz article: “You’re a completely different person at 14 and 77, the longest-running personality study ever has found”. Quote: “whether or not you truly are the same person over a lifetime—and what that notion of personhood even means—is the subject of ongoing philosophical and psychology debate.”

From a biological point of view, we are a completely different person every 7-10 years. How Stuff Works – Science: “According to researchers, the body replaces itself with a largely new set of cells every seven years to 10 years, and some of our most important parts are revamped even more rapidly [sources: Stanford University, Northrup].”

For some years, I have been using a similar analogy. In my recent Soul 2 Soul blog, I mentioned that the current version of me is the best version ever. Previous versions were the Child, the Teenager, the Student, the Ambitious Worker, the Family Man, the Angry Family Man, the Burning Man, the Phoenix, and now the Writer.

At the age of 56, I think, feel and believe that we are supposed to find out Who we are and Why we are here. It’s not about What we are, as that usually reflects the temporary roles that we fulfil in life (eg, CFO). Companies call this a Mission statement: A mission statement is a statement which is used to communicate the purpose of an organization” (Wiki).

Finding out Who you are and Why you are here may seem the difficult part in Life. Accepting it, is even more difficult. Finally, it’s about embracing the Why and loving yourself for Who you are. That brings inner peace and enlightenment. The flip side of this coin might well be a roller coaster of solitude and loneliness (blog 1, blog 2, blog 3).

With the knowledge of hindsight, I realise I’ve focussed too long on the What (ie, career). This focus was not sustainable as I compromised too much and too often on the Who and the Why. Hence, I lost my sense of happiness and satisfaction in life, and the Angry Family Man emerged. With hindsight, this angriness was mostly with myself and projected onto others.

Knowing about the Who and the Why has made me reflect on the What once again. It’s still a puzzle how I can combine all 3 in a sensible way. I have a firm belief though: I will know it, when I see it. While I am sometimes contemplating that “I am leaving”, the fighter still remains. 

The Boxer (1969) by Simon & Garfunkel – artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

In the clearing stands a boxer

And a fighter by his trade

And he carries the remainders

Of every glove that laid him down

And cut him till he cried out

In his anger and his shame

“I am leaving, I am leaving”

But the fighter still remains

Still remains


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