In this section I'll pose questions that begin to get to the root of identity, for a person, organisation or brand. Looking forward to your thoughts...

1 What is the one thing that has most defined who you are, either positively or negatively? It could be a person, experience, period in time or other significant factor.


Andrea Wilson

06 September 2013 11:30

We're gathering quite a collection.

Here's a gem of a response from Doug:

What has formed me in life begins with the example of my mother who had a keen sense of the value of each person she encountered. She could find their charisma and celebrate it in her very quiet, powerful way. Then early on when I was eight years old, my father having died when I was six, my mother wanted men in my life and enrolled me in an Episcopal military academy. I quickly saw that to survive the hazing of new boys, being a natural-born coward myself, I'd have to find ways to add value to the lives of my class-mates. I became a trusted adviser to the other kids with my focus on what they did well.

Then as a prep school freshman when I was twelve, I had to read the Iliad in Greek as the education was classical in nature. On the Achaean side of the siege of Troy was a general named Nestor. His principal role in the war was to sit in his tent and Agamemnon, Menelaus, and Achilles would come to him for advice and counsel. I wondered how one would find such a role in the 20th century. It took me a while, but I figured out and have lived it out to my great joy. I find nothing more delightful than to shine light on the strengths that people have and then to help them soar.

Andrea Wilson

06 September 2013 11:30

Shashi, Interesting, the idea of practices that increase our self awareness and expression.

Kerry-Fleur, What a poetic interpretation. If we can tune in to the moments when we are being our true selves - and when we are not - we can know intuitively who we are, even if we don't put it into words. It would be good to be able to recognise these moments more easily and find a way to live there more, don't you think?

Rodrigo, I really like the responsibility and objectivity in this - taking ownership of the way things are and seeing clearly without the ego interfering.

Shashi Kapoor

17 May 2013 11:25

Martial arts. Teaching me to deepen the connection between my mind and physical body and increase my awareness of things happening outside of it. Developing this connection has had a profound effect on my faculty of self expression.

Andrea Wilson

14 March 2013 15:41

Your comments are such gems. I've been wondering whether I can say much more, or even need to. I'll think about this but in the meantime would like to say thank you!

Kerry-Fleur Schleifer

04 March 2013 20:13

Being who I am
Being who I am not

Rodrigo Dauster

01 March 2013 19:28

Programming computers.

In 1980, my younger brother and I combined our saved pocket money to buy a Commodore VIC20. I don't even remember when I learned to program it--it's as if I always did. Breaking down problems into it's smallest constituent parts and then defining simple set of rules that addressed each of these is how my brain works--it's how I face life.

But, I did learn something: I learned to look at myself whenever something doesn't work.

When my computer program didn't work there was no one to blame. Moaning, swearing, complaining... all pointless. I learned that the only way the issue would be resolved was by looking inwardly; by carefully reconsidering my assumptions and identifying where I went wrong.

It's not a question of blaming myself as opposed to blaming others--that's too negative.

It's about having the confidence to know that every problem can be solved and that the power to solve it is in my hands (whether I solve it alone or with the help of others).