I’ll never forget the day Tony Robbins asked me who I was. It was more than twenty years ago and I was sitting in my car listening to his Personal Power Series on cassette tape. I just knew that if I could answer that question, I would have everything I ever wanted within five years. So what happened?
Maybe I lacked the ability to live “the examined life”. Maybe, I just got busy. Maybe I wasn’t ready for the answer. Whatever the reason, I couldn’t find an honest answer to Tony’s question, “Who are you?”
Years later, I was listening to an an audio book. a single question in that audio book really helped me find who I was and what was important to me. I finally had an answer for Tony.
“What five compliments would you most like to receive?”
After I wrote down my answers, I looked at them on paper. I looked for a long time. As I read them, I visualized receiving these compliments. This wasn’t an exercise in narcissism, but I have to admit, pretending someone was giving me these compliments felt great. There was a feeling of satisfaction; like I had accomplished something.
That’s when I realized I was picturing my ideal self; the me I wanted to be; the me that Tony Robbins was asking about. So what was it about these compliments that hit home with me? Each compliment represented an ideal, a “value” if you will. It wasn’t the compliment, it who I had to become in my mind to receive the compliment that made the difference.
While I’m not going to share the actual compliments with you, I will share my ideals. I feel comfortable that the list below represents a good path. It represents what is important to me.
My advice to you is to give this exercise a try. Write down five compliments you would love to hear. Really think about what they mean to you. Do they represent something deeper? Why would you love to hear a certain compliment? Extrapolate the ideal from the compliment. You may just find who you are.
Let me hear from you. I’d like to know what you think. Did you try this? How did It work for you?