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I Am What I Am

I can not hear those words without thinking about the old Popeye cartoons, or the Robin Williams version from the big screen. I am what I am , as a result of the thoughts, feelings and actions I've had so far in my life. I also believe we come into this world with a specific purpose that plays a huge role in differentiating us from each other.

In the past few years I certainly feel I've gotten closer to re-discovering what that purpose is. For the first 30+ years of my life, I think I was living up to expectations. I was raised to have great manners, respect my elders, be respectful, be seen – not heard, and a number of other beliefs that my parents instilled in me. Most of those, I most grateful to have learned and adopted. Sometimes though, I wonder how my life would be different if I was not discouraged from speaking up when I had a question, or wanted to voice my opinion.

Now that I'm a parent myself, I'm very conscious of the fact that most of our beliefs that we hold through our lives are formed in our early years (I've heard everything from before the age of 5, to 7 to 10, but regardless of it's at an early age). While I do my best to teach my children to follow their passions, be independent and strong worship, I also by default follow my own programming instinctually.

Did you ever once say "I'll never talk like that when I have kids" and then find yourself sounding like an exact clone of your parents? I know there have been a number of times when I've done myself saying something exactly the way I remember my Dad saying it to me. The challenge is those programs are running automatically on a subconscious level, so replacing them takes a concerted effort.

A big part of that process for me has been following a path of personal development, reading, asking questions and tapping back into who I really am. I've learned to listen to my gut and my instincts more closely. I've done the goal setting and life planning exercises numerous times, and while they all vary slowly I now have a pretty clear picture of what I want my life to look at – and thankfully it's not that much much different than the one I'm living now.

I'm not saying everything about my current life is perfect, but I can definitely see that things are coming together the way I envisioned them, and I know I'm on the right track. The key now, is for me to stay the course. I believe if I'm persistent and committed to creating the life of my dreams, I will achieve it.

Some of the beliefs I've begun to question and challenge over the past couple of years are things like "you must work hard for money" and "money is the root of all evil". I'm not against working hard, in fact I believe it is a key to my success so far. What I'm challenging now is that attaining money is only the result of hard work. I do not necessarily believe that any more. I know that money can be made by working smart, and finding the ways to leverage your efforts. I certainly do not believe that money is the root of all evil either.

Money is simply energy, and a medium of exchange of value. The more value you provide, the more money you will attract. The proper version of that quote says "the love of money, is the root of all evil". That I can agree with.