Q. I was taught that "life is hard and then you die." Given that perspective, why bother trying to figure out who I am innately anyway?

A. By way of response, here’s an e-mail letter I received recently from an individual who attended The Brain Program. I quote:

“Thanks for the information you shared in your program. The insights I received have already changed my life in several positive ways. It’s a bit like this tongue-in-cheek resume that I’ve adapted.

“My first job was working in an orange-juice factory but I got canned. I just couldn’t concentrate. Then I worked in the woods as a lumberjack but I couldn’t hack it, so they gave me the axe. I tried to be a tailor but I just wasn’t suited for it. It was a so-so job, anyway. Next I tried working in a muffler shop but that was too exhausting. Then I tried to be a chef. I figured it would add some spice to my life but I didn’t have the thyme. I attempted to work in a deli, but any way I sliced it I couldn’t cut the mustard. My best job was as a musician but eventually I found I wasn’t noteworthy. I studied to become a doctor but got sick of not having any patience. My next job was in a shoe factory but, there too, I didn’t really fit in so that didn’t last. I tried my hand at commercial fishing but couldn’t live on the net income. Later, I worked for a pool maintenance company but found that was too draining. I worked in a gym for awhile but they told me I wasn’t fit for the job. I even tried serving as a historian but there wasn’t much of a future in that. My last job was at Starbucks but I got tired of the same old grind. 

“It was then, while casting about for yet something else to try, that I heard about your brain program. The information you shared has been immensely useful in helping me to figure out who I am innately, who I was meant to be. Now that I’m living my life with more authenticity I have so much more energy and enthusiasm. In fact, I think I just might live long enough to retire. What a novel idea! I’ve finally discovered something that I do very well—being the real me. Amazing!”

Yes, life is hard. Of course it is! But once I figured that out, life didn’t seem so hard. And, yes, most of us will die sooner or later. There’s absolutely no virtue, however, in making the journey more difficult than it already is or in dying sooner. Identifying your own innate giftedness doesn’t smooth out all the bumps in the road or fill in all the potholes. It can help you to avoid some of both and manage your energy more effectively in the process. In my book, that’s more than worth the effort!