I published an essay some two years ago titled “no one can compete with you on being you.“I want to get back to this topic, and double down on the idea that individuality and agency drive perspective and outcomes.
I do not believe that self awareness is a mountain-top, rather it is a perpetual cycle of asking questions, synthesizing learnings, and challenging one’s self. Having a snapshot view of yourself – your strengths, weaknesses, goals, ambitions, desires, etc. is critically important such that you can understand what makes you different and individual.
I think it is very easy for us to lose sight of these unique characteristics. And…over time…I believe the sad truth is that many of us lose “what makes us different.” We lose wild stories and interesting perspectives because we get brainwashed into the system. We quickly become undifferentiated, commoditized, and replaceable.
This happens really quickly. This happens as soon as the system swallows you with a semi-nice salary.
The good news is that you are not “gone,” you just have to work to become an individual again. You have to work to get your monopolistic qualities back. I do not think this is an age thing…though younger people tend to be more naive, ignorant, and capable of differentiation. I think anyone can do it. You just have to want it (not saying you should, the system is great and comfortable and safe to navigate).
Also published on Medium.