How Did I Get Here.

Ever ask yourself this question?

It’s not about getting up in the morning and going somewhere. This is regarding where you are in life.

Your question may relate to where and how you live, your job, relationship(s), cultural surrounds, position, attitude, beliefs or yes, even physical location.

We arrive at a specific point by following unique and usually very diverse paths. And here we are.

Often, we ask ourselves about where we find ourselves because something just feels wrong. But any time we choose to reflect upon and consider our path the past can be surprising.

We generally form a self-image of who we will become at a very early age; we see ourselves being a specific way. Arguably, it is said this impression is well-formed by the age of seven years.

In any event a guiding image is likely formed very early on.

And, one would expect this (image) to be influenced by our genes, family, experiences, exposure, position, culture, psyche etc.; a large collection of influencers.

Most of our lives are spent reinforcing and securing a path that moves us towards that strongly ingrained original impression.

But there is no reason that early image cannot be modified or even dramatically changed. Consider…

In the recent past many people lived and died within a small geographical area. Their needs were sufficiently fulfilled and so they remained constrained by immediately available infrastructure, opportunity and their own imagination.

Today we are free to expand our horizons and aspirations; communications, transportation and wealth are more prevalent each passing decade.

This means our self-image can be more inclusive and adventurous, benefitting from more expansive exposure.

The limited exposures of a child from 50 years ago is now superseded by seemingly limitless modern industrial-era possibilities and the colorful images that flood today’s world.

Perhaps this is the reason we see so many later-stage lifestyle changes being made; early childhood perspectives are constantly being refreshed, modified and even over-written.

But let’s return to the original question…

Do you like being where you are?

Is that job (or relationship, culture, location, career, lifestyle, future-outlook, etc.) what you want?

Must you accept what is and now what likely will be?

Of course, the intuitive answer is, “no.”

Logically, with no material restraints we can simply walk awayfrom any situation; unless there are emotional shackles. Humans typically respond to their own ingrained commitments to duty, honor, responsibilities in ways that will either free them to change or bind them with sustaining behavior.

Our established moral beliefs determine how and if we stick with our established norms and outlook.

It is interesting to look back at our paths through life. Often, we have travelled far from our origins to here. Sometimes there is almost no distance at all.

Some people find themselves on other continents, speaking a different language, immersed in cultures quite distinct from their origins. It is doubtful the early self-images these individualspossessed as young children match the current situation.

When people find themselves far removed from their origins, are they conflicted? Would not their childhood expectations (and self-images) pull on them still?

To understand where we are, we must know where we once were.

Our view of both stations needs to be clear. And only then can we see the points of inflection that moved us from our origins to the present.

These things are good to know. It’s wiser and healthier to have basic insight into who we are now and from where we came (mentally, physically, psychologically). We are molded by what we can or cannot control and circumstance.

So, how did you get here; where here means this precise location, situation and point in time?

Do you like where you are and are headed?

If not, maybe there are opportunities to change some aspects to what you might prefer? It is always your choice.

Ian R. Mackintosh is the author of Empower Your Inner Manager Twitter@ianrmackintosh.

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