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Define Yourself! Lessons from the Land of Oz

Joe uncovers more about Success Strategy # 7 – “Define Yourself” using the Allegory of the Wizard of Oz

The tin man longed for a heart, the lion wanted courage and the scarecrow would have been happy if he only had a brain.

Along with their new friend Dorothy, they ventured out on a dangerous journey looking for that missing element that would complete their lives and bring them happiness.

Of course, we all know how this beloved movie-classic ended. They all learned (even the Wizard himself) that true happiness doesn’t lie in anything external, but rather in understanding, accepting and managing oneself. The biggest lesson of this life’s journey is learning to be true to your heart. There really is no place like home.

The Greatest Lesson from the Allegorical Wizard of Oz

Tunnel Image, Journey InwardIn our own personal search for life beyond the rainbow, we would do well to learn the lesson from the Wizard of Oz.

When we turn our search inward rather than outward, we can uncover (rather than discover) our true vision, clarity and purpose in life.

In our lifelong quest for happiness, success, love and fulfillment, it is imperative that we search in the only place where they can be found…within ourselves. While external things can be representations or manifestations of these concepts, the “real deal” can only be experienced by sincere and thorough soul-searching and diligence.

Define Yourself!

Success Strategy No. 7 is “Define yourself.” [See more Success Strategies] Why is it so important to define who we are with an ”internally determined” definition?

It is false as well as debilitating to believe that we can realistically define ourselves by things external to us – because those things can, do and will change. When we describe ourselves only by our relationships to things or people (i.e. “I am a wife, I am a father, I am a baseball player, I drive a BMW, I run a small company”), we fail to look inside ourselves. We are not our jobs, relationships, causes, possessions, hobbies, or anything that is external to us. Perhaps these provide clues or some reflection, but they fall short of defining who we are.

It’s essential to our self-development that we have a clear understanding of ourselves beyond our specific physical attributes and roles. For one thing, anything in our secondary world is beyond our control – it can be taken away at any moment. [More about primary and secondary world.] At our core, our personality is how we do what we do, and our character is why we do what we do.

Define Yourself

It is true that our descriptions invent our world. How we define things determines what they are for us. For example, over 50 years ago with the birth of new physics, scientist uncovered a better model of the physical world. These discoveries demanded a radical reformulation of the most fundamental aspects of reality.

In other words, the new definition changed our perspective and understanding of reality itself. In your personal “inward journey,” you’ll find that your definition of yourself will serve to help you create yourself. Although we may not encounter a wicked witch, the journey inward for the answers to ‘who we are’ can be quite disturbing. This is why most people don’t embark on the journey with persistence. The German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer wrote,

Why is it that, in spite of all the mirrors in the world, no one really knows what he looks like?

If you have the courage to define yourself by journeying within, don’t be surprised if you feel a bit unsettled or “panicked.”

You May Panic – Don’t Let Fear Halt Your Journey

The word panic is derived from the Greek god, Pan, the god of woodlands and pastures.  Stories say that Pan caused unidentified noises that startled humans and beasts on their journey through the countryside.

Many people will let the unidentified noises of their fears scare them away from venturing further inward. If you experience panicked moments while you’re on your inward journey, remind yourself that you are in a process of uncovering rather than discovering. Like our heroine Dorothy learned, it is only once you uncover that you can draw upon your inner strength; whatever previously scared you will seem to just melt away.

In fact, you will find that you possessed all of the courage, brains and heart you ever needed all along. When you uncover your inner self, true happiness lies in understanding, accepting and managing ourselves.

Indeed, there is no place like home.

Take the Next Step

Ready to get started? We’ve created some exercises to help you on the inward journey to Define Yourself! Submit your email address below to receive our free exercises and to become a friend of Caruso Leadership.

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