While desperately seeking alternatives to a Proteas cricket match – to maintain self-control – I recently began watching the 2003 movie Anger Management.
I was struck once again (if you’ll excuse the pun) by a particular scene, where Adam Sandler’s character is hoping to be relieved of his need for therapy, but instead finds himself really worked up.
With apologies for the occasional misrepresentastion, it goes something like this:
The context is Jack Nicholson’s polite facilitation of the request, “Tell us who you are.” Sandler begins with the standard “I’m (insert name) and I work at…” and is interrupted by Jack, who says, “No, not what you do; who you are”. Sandler tries again, this time with, “I’m a people-person…” or such-like, which is again shot down. “Not your personality; who you are.” An outburst was almost guaranteed to follow, wasn’t it?
The reality is that most of us have defined ourselves by our work, our spouse, our personality, our status, culture or some other important aspect of our existence. It’s difficult to separate what I do, where I do it and why I do it from who I am. Yet this is an important distinction, for who I am needs to drive the other domains. Who I am should inform my choices.
Bob Buford, in Half-Time, shares a metaphor he was given. A mentor told him that there was a box in his lounge / living room, containing the most important thing in his life. The question is, of course: what’s inside the box? Is it God? Is it family? Business? Really? Evidenced by what I spend my time, energy and money on the most?
Why not join me in the search for better answers to the Big Questions?
We can only become more of who we alone can be, and achieving more of our wonderful potential.