I will never again be who I am not!
All word, thought and deed requires two self-directed questions: “Am I doing what is right: why? Is there a better alternative: why?” Thorough self honesty will always give the best answer; through this, one nurtures and grows the authentic self. Apart from this, you and I will always emulate, portray, and therefore be who we are not.
The real self, the real you, is not who or what you think you are, what you think or feel, or what you do; the real self is you but is held accountable for these things. Over time however, we gradually shift our sense of identity away from who we are, and instead, toward what we do, what we accomplish, and our public image. This is like building a mock storefront for a Hollywood movie. It expends fewer resources, is less time-consuming, and requires far less work to construct than the authentic structure. It looks real, it convinces the audience, but give it a good shove and the whole thing falls down; nothing behind it remotely resembles what the façade leads people to believe.
We are not what we do or what we accomplish. We are not our public image. When we forsake who we are in favor of building a mock storefront – career, public image, prestige, possessions, financial success – life will eventually do what life naturally does. It will appear out of nowhere and knock it down, revealing to our self and the world that in fact there is nothing behind it – no truth, no substance, no self-honesty, no humility, and no regard for others – just our real self, the now-fading and stunted person we forsook long ago.
If instead, we build up who we are on the inside – our character, morals, ethics, our heart, our eternal soul – the outside naturally grows out of something real, something with substance. Who we are to the world and what we do within it is no longer a convincing storefront, forever hiding what lies behind, but the outer representation of who we really are, inviting others to open a real front door and say hello to the person who lives inside.