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Who are you?

Hello and welcome to our new blog-series – Life Design!

We at Cross Culture Therapy are in the process of writing the first edition of our e-book entitled Life Design. It will be a life-coaching book, set up as a sort of “instruction manual” for self-discovery and will also cover what we understand to be the three main factors of quality of life namely – the economy of human nature, the ecosystems of humanity and the disciplines of consistent happiness. In today’s blog-post, I thought we would preview a concept that will be a part of the self-discovery section of the book about defining oneself.

There have been moments in our lives when we have sat down and really thought about who we are. It can be an overwhelming task, even for the brightest of us. If asked who we are, most of us would not know where to begin. Some would struggle for a second or two and then give an answer related to either their profession or where they come from. But in order to best answer that question, we should first deconstruct the grammar.

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Who are you?

The key here is the word are. Are is the plural form of the present tense of the verb be. What comes after the are or the be is often a description or in some cases an action (i.e. we are sitting by the truck). To cut you down to the essence of who you are the word that describes you should come directly after the word are or it’s equivalent when answering – am. To have too many words in between would only introduce concepts which themselves would have to be defined. For example the descriptions – I am from Italy or – I am a migrant or I am an accountant – rely on an additional definition of what Italy means, what it means to be a migrant and what an accountant is and if that definition were to change, then the concept of you as a person would change. (Just think of the changing definitions of sexual identity for example.) Therefore, the core of who you are comes from adjectives. For those of you who don’t know what an adjective is (and there is no shame in that) it is word the describes a noun (in this case you). For example – I am sweet. I am sporty. I am vain. I am picky. These describe the core of who you are and anything that goes beyond that is not related to your core but is built to it. The fact that you like to cook can, for example, come from your core of being caring or sweet.

To think about the things that you like doing may be a good starting point. But when selecting the adjective to describe the part of your personality that this activity is linked to, it is best to analyse the reason why you like doing these things first. If you go to the gym, then why do you like going to the gym? Think of an adjective. Is it because you are sporty, or is it because you want to look good, which means that you are vain. There is no shame in being vain. Being vain is essential to are ability of reproducing and socialising. If you like the gym and you suspect that it is because you are vain then think about other things you like that may match this. Maybe you like nice cars. Maybe you like fashion and shopping for hair products. Could this match that aspect. Also, check the other way. Do you like any other physical activities than going to the gym (i.e. football, rugby, karate). If so, you might be sporty.

An essential concept in defining yourself is not to overspecify. When selecting your adjectives you must fight the urge to take as many as you can. I can appreciate it as being part of human nature to see ourselves as very complex, but the key is to cut you down to your core and to build a satisfying life onto it. Therefore I would ask you to limit yourself to 5-7 adjectives. If you wish to do so, begin with a long list of adjectives. Then spend a day (A day of self-discovery) and do only what you love to do. In the evening of that day go back to your list and cross out any adjectives that are not applicable to the activity that you did that day. Before you go to sleep, hopefully you will know who you are.

In tomorrow’s article we will use your adjectives to define your purpose. So stay tuned to Cross Culture Therapy. We tweet by the way ; ).

Philip Andersson

Life Coach

Cross Culture Therapy


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Philip Andersson – Life Coach

Philip Andersson is a life-coach who is currently studying to become a psychotherapist. He treats people suffering from depression, phobias and anxiety. Having been raised in Hong Kong and having lived in England and Japan as an adult, Philip also treats people who are overcome with feelings of displacement and rudderlessness associated with a global-nomad lifestyle such as Third Culture Kids, Cross Culture Kids, Migrants and Asylum Seekers.

What We Do!

Cross Culture Therapy offers 1-on-1 online therapy sessions to people suffering from depression, phobia, anxiety as well as to people who suffer from displacement issues associated with a globally nomadic lifestyle (i.e.Third Culture Kids – people who have grown up in a culture different to their parent’s passport culture – and Cross Culture Kids) Our sessions are conducted via Skype for a duration of 50-minutes and can be purchased in packs of 1-session, 3-sessions or 5-sessions. If you are interested in purchasing a session, click on the Book A Session tab on our menu or click here.

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