Who am I?
Who am I? It's one of the most important questions you can ever ask. Learn a process for getting new answers to this timeless question.
— August Turak, How to Truly Transform to Create Superior Organizations
Who am I?
One of the most intriguing and powerful books I have ever read is Business Secrets of the Trappist Monks by August Turak.
I can’t remember exactly what led me to read Turak’s book, but it may have been through one of his articles published in Forbes magazine. Turak writes about leadership for Forbes.
If the Trappist Monks were so successful, I wondered how is it that I had never heard of their business success before? Well, it turns out that Trappist monks don’t need to do a lot of advertising and promotion.
For the past 1,500 years, they have been quietly, diligently, and persistently living their values in service to others by producing products for markets in areas around the world where their products, quality, and service are legendary to those they serve.
I was also completely shocked when I discovered that the strategies used by the Monks and honed over hundreds of years aligned with the ideas I was uncovering through my interview series 5 Minutes to Process Success!
Ideas like authenticity, reflection, serving a greater good, and attention to detail and quality. But there was one factor that stood out that my work had not uncovered:
I relentlessly ask the question, “Who am I?” I think it’s the most important question that you can ask.
While I have heard this advice to ask this question many times throughout my life, I had to admit that it was a question to which I had given little attention. How do we even begin to answer this question?
When August shared this advice with me, I wanted to know how he dealt with answering it.
The answers come in many ways. I’m always replaying in my mind situations and scenarios that have happened.
I’ve republished this interview with August Turak at the Forward Thinking Workplaces site. Read the full interview at How to Truly Transform to Create Superior Organizations.
Answering the Question
While “The Who Am I” question may be one of the most important questions you can ask yourself, I believe it is also one the most difficult to answer, and as a result, few of us give it the attention it deserves.
Earlier this year, a colleague shared an approach to answering this question:
Here is the process:
- Once a day or as often as you can, stand in front of a mirror to look deeply into your eyes.
- While keeping your gaze on your eyes, ask these questions every 30 to 60 seconds or so:
- Who am I and who are you?
- Then pause in silence to wait for any answers to show up. Continue this process for five to 10 minutes.
- You may not receive any answers or get ideas that make no sense. Note what you learn.
- The critical point is to continue to do the process as often as you can. Do it daily if you can. Weekly is better than monthly. By engaging in this process, you set up a powerful space for answers to arrive.
My patience and discipline in pursuing this question are paying off in ways that are blowing my mind.
Over the past month, the answers have started to arrive in many different ways at just the right time and sequence.
I’m still processing it all and considering how I will initially share what I’m learning. For now, I’m planning to share what I’ve learned at the next monthly workshop on July 6, 2022. It’s a free event this month.
I believe this is one of the most important discoveries I have ever made and have to share. You may have even heard of this answer before, but I guarantee you that it will land in a new way when you engage in the process I described above.
P. S. At our next monthly workshop on July 6, 2022, we will dive deeper into the Who am I? question. Register here for this free event.
— Eckhart Tolle
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