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phoebusg's avatar

What are some criteria by which you decide who/what you would like to become? Can you trace the influences upon them?

Asked by phoebusg (5218 points ) September 15th, 2011

Self-development, social development. Influences over reason, blended with questions about integrity.

Simply reflect on how you decide on who you’d like to become. Stages of thinking, criteria, details. If you’ve never thought about it before, try to trace the influences behind desires to become X,Y,Z.

Extra kudos for full/deep answers.

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14 Answers

laineybug's avatar

I don’t decide, I just become whatever it is that I become.

harple's avatar

A couple of examples I can think of straight away:

When I was about 13, I was sat in a gymnasium with a couple of other girls during a games lesson, and one girl was boasting about how well she had shaved her legs, saying that you wouldn’t find a single hair on them. I stupidly took that as a challenge, and found one…....... I think about that moment every time I shave my legs and reflect on the socially unaware child I was, and how much I’ve grown since… These days I tend to be overaware of what people are wanting to hear, which makes me a nice friend to have, but probably means I don’t relax as much as I should.

I live in the beautiful English county of Cumbria, and first moved here when I was 23… About 4 years ago I had reason to leave (marriage breakdown – decided I couldn’t afford to live there on just my income, and I didn’t want to watch someone else take over my work, so decided to move away). I lived in 5 different places in the interim, all over the UK (Yorkshire, Wales and Surrey among them) and came back to Cumbria 10 months ago… It wasn’t until I left the area and spent time elsewhere, and then returned to the area, that I realised that Cumbria is my home, the place where I belong.

__I’ll think on to better answer on the self development side…__

phoebusg's avatar

Thank you @harple – a cross-post from a fb group yielded some interesting discussion as well: https://www.facebook.com/groups/philosophycafe/?id=169401269805624&notif_t=group_activity

wonderingwhy's avatar

My only real criteria is the degree to which any given aspect improves or hinders my happiness. This was born largely while traversing a particularly difficult path of my own making. While on it I woke up one day, finally decided I was a fool for making myself so miserable, and that I’d rather be happy than not. Since it seemed, at the time, I’d forgotten how to do that properly I figured I’d better learn – and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since.

Of course that’s just the core, there’s much more beyond that (for example why I would choose to tell the truth even if a lie would better improve my happiness, or help another under the same circumstance), but that’s what drives it all.

thorninmud's avatar

It isn’t at all a process of deciding who I want to become. There may have been some of that when I was younger—imagining my future self in various roles on the world stage—but no more. That’s not to say that I “have arrived”, though. More just that I no longer think I am of a nature that can be mentally uprooted from the present and groomed for a future of my imagining.

I content myself now to work at being what the moment calls for.

gailcalled's avatar

@thorninmud: You are my gray eminence; you say it first, you say it clearly and you say it better, leaving me to simply nod my head in agreement. Ta

Coloma's avatar

I grew up in a dishonest family on an interpersonal level and married a dishonest person, I have always hated dishonesty and so was influenced and convicted to be a truth teller from a very early age. I was also influenced by my generation in the early to mid-70’s.
The back to nature, live in the country, grow your own outlook. haha
On a biological level I was born a creative personality type…sooo, mix ‘em all together and you have a non-conformist of high integrity that lives in a little house in the woods and cherishes truth and peace. lol

Cruiser's avatar

Become? No thanks! I am currently focusing on devolving back to what I once was. Give me a Schwinn 10 speed and no responsibilities is what I want to become!

thorninmud's avatar

@gailcalled I’d say that @laineybug put it even better.

gailcalled's avatar

It’s a toss-up as to which of you is primus inter pares, but you have the advantage of the patina of age, and she the glow of youth.

Nimis's avatar

Most are about what not to become. What to become just happens.

I do remember one incident though. In sixth grade I felt that adults didn’t take me very seriously and I made a promise to my future self to not underestimate children. I think I’ve kept that. A lot of my past jobs have been with kids. People always comment that I work really well with them. I owe a bit of that to my sixth grade self.

thorninmud's avatar

@Nimis How curious! I clearly recall making the exact same resolution, also in sixth grade!

Nimis's avatar

@thorninmud Curious indeed! And years later, we still share a lot of the same thinking. Though, you know…much better articulated at your end. :P

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

I just like to become the person I have always wanted to be——happily married, with a wife and 2 young children. ;)

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