Last week one of my vivid readers, my grandfather told me that:
To an outsider who doesn’t know you, your writing feels like the last attempt to achieve success.
Like I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. On the contrary, this newsletter and my personal page are meant to be a cherry on top. Not the whole cake. But I’ve indeed been suppressing the fact that I’m a physicist.
As far as my career is concerned, I feel I’m on track and doing reasonably well. Finished the Masters in physics, starting the PhD, writing a personal blog, attempting to build a side business, occasionally doing some scouting work, photographing, travelling. It’s not my intention to brag, but I’m pretty happy with where I am at the moment.
But if I’m so happy then why am I digging into self-development? Why do I bother? We’ll one of the reasons where I am today is due to self-development. But I didn’t get here overnight.
Ever since high school, I had quite a few uncontrolled anger bursts. I tended to spill my personal frustrations on people around me. A good mixture of overwork and emotional insecurity did the job. Then when I was 22, my parents told me that they were getting a divorce. The whole thing threw me even further of the balance.
I gathered up my courage and started visiting a life coach. I didn’t feel like I needed to see a psychiatrist just yet so I decided to explore a less nuclear option.
In the first session, the coach asked me how I would describe my self and how I felt. I could sense that my body was tense, but I couldn’t find words to accurately describe what I felt. In a sense, I lacked the map between feelings I had and the words that represented them. What confused me even further was that my coaches interpretations were completely different than mine.
Great everyone has a different map between how they feel words and they use to describe their feelings. And I thought physics was complex.
What helped me get in sync with my emotions were “labels” that helped me describe who I am.
I thought I was great at “analysing” others. In scouting as a leader, I would always try to figure out what type of people my team members were. The scientific monkey in me strived to classify and slap labels around. After some self-reflection, I began to realize how unfair labelling was.
Yet we all do it. Every time we meet someone, we start making a mental image. Then after we give the person a chance to get to know them, we usually change our perspective.
These days when I meet new people, I don’t tell them all aspects of my story. I sometimes “forget” to mention what I do, that I’m a physicist. Then curiously watch their response when I tell them something that shatters the mental image they created about me. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for worse.
But to shape the story we tell to people we meet, we need a deeper understanding of who we are. When I started visiting the coach, all I could come up with was that I’m a physicist and a scout. Two labels.
Reality is this. We, as human beings are complex. A combination of a different set of layers. Exploring all of our hidden layers takes time. Over the years, I discovered that besides being a physicist and a scout, I was also ordered, minimalist, introverted, a matcher, creative and analytic thinker, …
While figuring out my way, I came across a few concepts that helped me better describe my identity. By associating my interests with appropriate words, I managed to find others that shared my interests.
In the upcoming weeks, I’ll present one concept at a time and provide you with a few additional resources. It’s up to you how deep you go. Few known concepts that we’ll cover:
Then to a few slightly less known ones:
And many more. Usually, you’ll figure out that you are somewhere in between. In some situations, you are extroverted in other introverted. Sometimes the fear of missing out (FOMO) will eat you up in the other cases you’ll experience the joy of missing out (JOMO). Our personalities are split, they change, and that’s OK. Apparently, humans are wired and not as easily describable as physics phenomena.
Once I learned how to better deal with my emotions, I began to realize that a lot of people around me were also emotionally insecure. They weren’t dealing with their personal shit. They would lose it in front of their colleges, spouses, kids, friends. But some people seem to have it together. Always calm, clear-minded. Don’t be fooled they have their own demons to, they just don’t wash all their dirty laundry in public.
Just to be clear, I don’t have it all figured out. Maybe, you do. If not, perhaps you benefit from some of my stories.
We’ll stay in the Who am I? lane for the majority of 2020. So strap in, we’ll attempt to get a better grasp at who we are :)
In the past week, I finally made some improvements to the sleep schedule. 00:00 - 8:00 is better then 03:00 - 11:00, though still some way to go to get back to 22:00 - 6:00. It (again) turned out that the best approach for sleep schedule shifting is some mixture of:
What I’ll try in the upcoming week? I’m moving again from the seaside back to the capital. Time to start with a blank canvas again. The 7th “restart” in the last 3 years. Luckily there’s so much fog at the seaside at the moment that I won’t even see leaving the sea behind.
You know the drill let me know what will be your small experiment this week.
If you find a typo, have a comment or have an idea for improvement shoot me a message. 😉
Till the next weekly experiment.
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