Blog with Joel Brookman

Be the Person You Want to Be

I’m turning 50 this week and I’m looking back at my life wondering how it moved so quickly. Probability suggests that I have more days behind than ahead. This causes me to look at where I am in life and ask several questions: How did I become the person I am today? What were the pivotal moments in my life? Am I satisfied with who I am and what I’ve done? Once you have a deep understanding of how you arrived at this point in your life, you are in a better position to direct yourself to be the person you want to be.

How did you become the person you are today?

You are the combination of the genetics you carry and the experiences you’ve had. Since the genetics are already set, let’s look at the experiences. What were the top few pivotal experiences in your life? For me the first is when I moved at age ten. I left all of my friends behind and started the first day of 5th grade knowing no one. The adjustment was difficult and it shed light on some things that I had taken for granted, mainly good friends that I could trust. Another pivotal moment was the simultaneous failure of my business and first marriage. Those events brought me from a life in Florida with dysfunctional relationship and a business that made me miserable, to a new start in Boston. My career, my relationship and my location changed all at once. The greatest part was that my next relationship was wonderful, I loved the life I had in Boston, and my career in the world of finance was something I truly enjoyed. Sometimes it takes understanding of what you don’t want to get the clarity needed to pursue what you do want.

Are you satisfied with who you are and what you have done?

There are several benchmarks I look to when measuring my satisfaction with the life I’ve lived.

  1. Integrity-Have you lived a purposeful life where you’ve earned the respect of people around you? This means you’ve fulfilled your obligations, kept your word and treated people fairly.
  1. Selflessness-How often are you in service to others? The most rewarding experience for most people is realized through helping others.

3. Security-There’s a lot to the issue of security. In order to provide security to others you first need to find security  yourself.

It begins with physical security. If you live in a safe part of the world where you can go to sleep at night without worrying about your personal safety that is the first step. From there you are in a position to provide peace of mind to others.

The second is the mental security. Do you doubt your own abilities in certain areas? Does it ever cause you  to alter your behavior? Maybe you feel that your significant other is out of your league so you keep tabs on her for fear she is connecting with someone else. Or you speak badly about a colleague at work who you view as having stronger skills than you. Having the confidence to know that you are worthy and talented elevates you as a human. Moving beyond insecurity allows for greater satisfaction in life.

A third area to consider is financial security. Are you in constant fear of making ends meet? As great as it may be to have nice things, is it really worth the mental anguish of the realization that you’re spending more than you are taking in? Imagine the feeling of knowing that your retirement is fully funded, your children can go to the college of their choice, you are debt free, have multiple years of living expenses put away, and you’ve set up a legacy for your loved ones. Achieving financial independence can do wonders for attaining life satisfaction.

Do you truly enjoy life?

It is said the happiest people are those with the strongest personal relationships. We also know that the happiest among us value experiences over things. The key is to share experiences with people you love.

The questions above provide a good gauge for evaluating your satisfaction in life. Don’t wait for a landmark event. Understand your challenges and start directing yourself to be the person you want to be.

Posted by Joel Brookman in Choose who you want to be, Direct Your Life, happiness, Uncategorized and tagged .


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