Who are you? This question is too basic but very deep. Most of our problems in life is because of misconceived identity. We tend to identify ourselves with family or profession. When asked, you might reply, “I am a manager.”, “I am a journalist.” or so and so. This is our profession, not individuality. But the social custom is set in a way that it becomes not only a part of our existence but a kind of a reason for our existence itself. Not having anything else to say about ourselves, we tend to introduce ourselves by profession we are engaged in. Sad. Resultantly, the ego of being something pervades through our attitude and actions.

We forget that in this long life, we have choosen one type of work for survival and satisfaction. But it has so much of dominance in our existence that people know us as a professor, or a bureaucrat or a corporate leader. But we are none of them. Not only people, we ourselves are misled by such created identity that it rules our every action. We colour our thoughts accordingly. ‘I cannot do this, because I am a respected professor.’ ‘I have to behave in a certain way because I am a senior bureaucrat.’ These are limiting thoughts that guide our actions. Till the time they are guiding us to be a good human being, it’s fine. (Although we don’t need any such tag to be a good human being.) But these kind of restrictions also bring certain ego in our behaviour. ‘How can he do this to a senior professor like me?’ Or ‘He needs to respect a bureaucrat of my stature in more appropriate way.’ These are the outcomes of identifying ourselves with a professon.

We carry the weight of our work throughout the life. It moulds our behaviour and limits our growth. Our free thinking is affected by such restrictive mindset. We need to free ourselves from the lure of professional identities and exist as an individual. Just the way you have a hand but you are not the hand, you have a nose, but you are not the nose, similarly, you have a name but you are not the name, you have a profession but you are not the profession. We are an individual, with completely different and independent existence. Just the way an actor is not the character he is playing, we are not the profession we are working as. To keep this difference in mind, rather than saying that ‘I am senior professor.’, you can alternatively say, ‘I am working as a senior professor.’

Don’t miss new articles