Who Are You? Part 2: Ten Simple, Easy Ways to Discover the Person Inside You

Article by Make The Days Count Contributor Judy Mosley


So, you’re ready to take the plunge.  You have your tools by your side and you eagerly wait to discover new territory.  These activities are very simple and most of them cost nothing.  Again, enjoy this process and bring others along with you.  Your change might inspire others to do the same.


1. Get a Library Card.

Statistics from the ALA (American Library Association) state that only 68% of Americans have a library card. This is a huge resource that you can use for much of your discovery.  You will have a variety of treasures at your fingertips, from audio books to movies, self-help to fiction.  Whatever you need, more than likely, they will have it.  Start reading books that you normally would pass up. Check out biographies, history, fiction, nonfiction, or philosophy.  Give yourself the grace to take it back, unfinished if you discover you don’t like it.  However, don’t write something off, just because it’s not what you would normally read.


Also, if you have a college or university in your city, most will issue non-students user cards that allow you to use the university library just like your Free Public Library.  Many people are not aware of this service.


And remember, you can get your name on a list to check out brand new popular books as they are released.  Most libraries purchase new best sellers as they are released.  Checking it out is a lot cheaper than buying it in hardback!


2. Take a walk.

Walk through your neighborhood.  Walk the downtown section of your local community.  Turn on your imagination.  Try to see it through the eyes of someone that has never been there before.  Notice the architecture, the beauty of small objects, or the joy of nature.  Be sure to bring your journal with you to write down what comes from that.   Another option is to bring you camera and look are interesting photos.  Cameras tend to get people to look at things they are used to seeing every day in a new way.  When you get the photos home journal your thoughts on the photos.


3. Go Shopping.

That’s right, ladies, you heard me correctly.  All of us, men and women, tend to get in a wardrobe rut. When you go, bring a friend along who will be honest with you.  Try on brighter colors, different cuts and styles.  And, to make it really cheap, and good for the community, shop at your local Good Will or consignment shops.  That way, if you buy something and change your mind about it later, you haven’t spent a ton of money.  But, remember … only buy it if you love it and can afford it … not because it’s cheap.


4. Get a haircut.

It’s the same scenario.  We look through our photos and discover that we’ve been wearing the same hairstyle for five years or more.  You are not the same person that you were then.  Make the change! Go to a good stylist who will be honest with you about what will look good on your face.  Once 2009 came onto the scene, I did this myself, cutting 2008 right off my back.  It was refreshing and freeing to remember that I am not the same person.  It’s amazing what a great cut will reveal about who you are.


5. Learn a new skill.

This is another reason to go to the library.  Many times, groups will post their meetings, or even have their meetings at the library.  What do you want to learn?  Quilting?  Photography?  Better writing skills?  Pottery?  Ask around your community or check your local paper.  Go one time and give it a chance.  You might discover a passion you didn’t know you had.


6. Watch TV.

This is not your excuse to veg out on the couch, but the opportunity to engage your mind. Watch PBS. They often carry a variety of shows that cater to many different tastes.  Watch the History Channel, the Nature Channel, the Sci-Fi Channel, HGTV, or CNN.  But be sure to remain engaged.  If you find yourself zoning out or avoiding life, then what you need to do is …


7. Turn off the TV.

In fact, turn everything off.  Find a quiet place.  If not in your home, then go to the library (got to love the library!).  Bring your journal and write down what the quiet does to you.  How does it make you feel?  What are you trying to avoid?  What do you want to embrace?  Take this time to dig deep and give yourself the opportunity to be still.


8. Remember how big the world is.

My family did two major things this past year to encourage this.  One was watching the

series “Planet Earth” (we got that from the library too!).  As a work-at-home mom, my world feels like it shrinks sometimes amidst the laundry and the daily care of my children.  But, watching this series reminded me of how amazing our world is and that I do want to see more of it.


The second thing we did was to purchase a world map that we hung in our kitchen.  When we listened to NPR and they talk about a country that we have not heard of, we run to the map and point it out.


Find ways to remind yourself of the great big world that surrounds you and remember that where you are is not all there is.


9. Try a new food.

Do you recall the scene in “Runaway Bride” where Julia Roberts sits down to a whole counter full of differently cooked eggs because she didn’t know how she like them?  This is exactly what I want you to do.  Knowing what you like and don’t like can make a real difference in how you respond to the world.  Give yourself the permission to discover your personal tastes, even in food.  Yes, it’s that important.


10. Dig into your ancestry.

If you could do anything on this list, do this.  This alone will probably bring you more clarity and give you more purpose than you may realize.  Talk to the older people in your family.  Find out who they are as people and find out what their stories are.  Find out where your family came from, what kind of trials they faced and what brought them to where they are.  You will probably discover more about yourself through this process then you thought possible.


This is an amazing opportunity.  This is your life and you were meant to live it as you, not as anyone else.  Enjoy this time because this is a gift that you can pass on to everyone around you.  Find the joy in yourself and watch the world around you transform.


“Man must feel the earth to know himself and recognize his values … God made life simple.  It is man who complicates it.”

-Charles A. Lindbergh, “Reader’s Digest (July 1972)”


“The world is so empty if one thinks only of mountains, rivers and cities; but to know someone here and there who thinks and feels with us, and though distant, is close to us in spirit – this makes the earth for us an inhabited garden.”

-Johann von Goethe


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Posted on 16 January, 2009 in Balance, Happiness
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