Guard Your Identity

Why Protecting Your Identity Increases Your Contentment

Guard Your Identity

Another great post by The Oatmeal:

You’re not going to believe what I’m about to tell you - The Oatmeal
This is a comic about the backfire effect.

Anything that you take into your identity, any label you put on yourself, becomes a weakness, a blindspot, and a nerve that other people can hit whenever they want.

Base your identity instead around things that:

Are eternal, global, large.

Religion. The belief that you should be kind as often as you can. The belief that you should take care of the people that you love.

Are within your control.

Your actions and reactions, not other people's. Not circumstances, trends, fashions, opinions, the crowd, the wind.

Are core to who you are and are becoming, not just what you were taught.

We all have things that we were taught: traditions we were brought up in, beliefs we were born into. Then we have things we self-taught: how the world really works, how we work and who we are. Let those guide directly. For example, you might believe only in things that can be disproved. You might think that other things aren't worth worrying about, or that they are. You might believe that you need to find the answers, or that you can just marvel at the mystery instead.

Doing these things takes away the false beliefs, the traps, the danger the world can present to us. It gives us back that power.

“My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground on which I stand.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh