The Journey of Life ( Part1)
“A rich or poor person who knows not his or her identity has no values and obviously has no value.” (D.O.B)
A friend once said to me ” What a life: You do the same thing every day, wake up in the same home with the same old people, eat the same old food again and again, go to the same old school, place of work, and return back to the same home to meet the same old people” so on and so forth. I could relate to his frustration because I had the same questions and frustration some 5-6 years ago. All he was trying to say in a nutshell was that, life’s experience revolves around a circle. What do you think? I think life revolves around a circle; even our physical body goes through the circle process. However, our system or style of operation in the circle of life is what determines our manifestation. According to the renowned psychologist, Erick Erikson, we go through 8 different stages in life which are:
Infant – Basic Trust vs. Mistrust
Toddler – Autonomy vs. shame
Preschooler – Initiative vs. Guilt
School-Age Child – Industry vs. Inferiority
Adolescent – Identity vs. Identity Diffusion
Young Adult – Intimacy vs. Isolation
Middle-aged Adult – Generativity vs. Self-absorption
Older Adult – Integrity vs. Despair.
The circle process starts from infancy stage to older adult stage. When we get to the old age, it physically appears as if we are returning back to infancy stage because the characteristics of an infant begin to immerge again. For example, inability to talk fluently, walk properly, and do things by ourselves. At this point, we have gone round the circle and it seems like we’re about to return back to the point we started from, the Infancy stage. Unfortunately, death disallows that occurrence. Based on my personal view of life, I think there are two kinds of circles involved in life experience. The survival circle and the deriving circle. The survival circle of life is when we become so wired up in life like a dummy trying to do everything that comes our way; it is a here and there life with no sense of direction, excitement, fun, pleasure, and satisfaction. The only kind of pleasure, excitement, and fun we get in this circle is what I called the One Minute PEF: an abbreviation for Perfume. We only smell good to ourselves and others around us in a moment. If you’ve ever tried a fake perfume copied of an original brand, you must have realized that the smell doesn’t last long unlike the original brand. In contrast, the deriving circle is a life of discoveries that immerges from preparation, development, and expectation with a lasting pleasure and satisfaction. I always say to people around me that life is a journey that counts in time. The journey road of life has huge space to occupy every single human being on earth into its adventure program.Unfortunately, Life doesn’t present to us a map to its treasures in its program but it creates enough room for exploration and exploitation. Adventure is an exciting or extraordinary event(journey) involving uncertainty and risk. Therefore, your state of mind determines if you are in the journey only to explore life’s treasures or exploit it. I personally think that we human being are not created not just for survival, but to derive. The survival instinct is meant for the animal kingdom, yet still, some wise animals have been able to upgrade themselves out of the survival level by legally gaining their ways into our homes as pet e.g. Dogs, Cats unlike illegal guests like Rats. I think Dogs and Cats are the most adored and cherished pets in the world that do not need to work to earn a living to survive. Therefore, the big question is, if we weren’t born to live a life of survival, how come a huge chunk of the world’s population are on the survival circle? How come you are not deriving any fun, excitement, lasting pleasure and satisfaction?
I came to a conclusion that there are three factors which determines the circle of life we belong to and operates in. The first factor is the identity factor: WHO YOU ARE, the second factor is the values factor: WHAT YOU STAND FOR, and the third factor is the purpose factor WHY AM I HERE(what are you living for). These three factors are pointers and openers to life’s hidden treasure. I think if we are to put life on a point scale of 100, the identity factor should take 50points because who we are is the most crucial key to opening every door to our humanity. Unsurprisingly, life only gives back to us who we are. Identity issue is a question every human being must ask if we are to make meaning of our lives. When we meet people, apply for jobs, the first thing they want to know is who we are. That you are born into a rich or poor family doesn’t resolve or give the true answer to the question of your identity. Often people easily attach their rich or non-rich status to equalize, measure and express their identity. Of course the rich find it more comfortable than the non-rich, but this attachment is not the deciding factor to whether you would be in the survival or the deriving circle of life. There is nothing in this world that can substitute for your real identity, riches cannot, power cannot, your nationality cannot, and your family background be it royal family cannot. I think the people who fail the most in life are people who try to define themselves in any of such ways.
Thanks for reading!
Daniel Olatunde Balogun