“You Can Never Discover Yourself!” – A Deep Dive into the Facade of “Self-Discovery”

Who am I? Sometimes, I just get curled up in some deepness that I don’t even know where it comes from, and I keep wondering. Who Am I? 

You know, it’s so easy to create a perception of who other people are, just because we can subconsciously make judgments based on what they do, say, or how they react. This is totally normal, you know. We are not being judgy or anything, we are just being humans who are designed to make inferences of things we notice. 

But, life is more than that. In my opinion, we as a person obviously need to find out who we are. Actually, I’m one of those that believe there is no self-discovery out there for one to realize. There is nothing like, you suddenly discover who you are or whatnot. Everything we do, experience, know, like, hate, long for, etc., all culminate into who we are – subconsciously. 

Our environments, where we grew up, what we are exposed to, all these determine our lives in one way or the other. It’s all part of the build-up. So, our actions, reactions and all add up into who we become. 

Rather than self-discovery, I think self-reflection is more like it. There is nothing like discovering yourself, but there is such a thing as reflection. Self-reflection. Just curl up somewhere and take a critical analysis of the life you have lived so far and all, and try to see if it’s who you wanna be if it’s what you wanna be. You get! 

Now, remember I said earlier that all our experiences and circumstances all add up into our person. Yeah. Now, when we self-reflect, I think that’s when the real journey starts – while being sincere with ourselves anyways. 

Ok, let me chip this in so that I can get this thought out the right way. When I talk to friends who seem to be having a hard time with things not going so well and. I tell them, “Fingers are obviously not equal.” For crying out loud, I wish my Grandpa had allowed me to go to America when I had the chance. But the old man said I’d need not leave my younger brother. If I had been there since, maybe I wouldn’t be exposed to the harsh realities of being Nigerian (fun fact, I bought it, but I haven’t read that book by Elnathan John). 

Back to what I was saying. Maybe life could have been better or something. But, that right there culminates in part to who and what I am today. If I had gone, I would be living a different life now, at least, in another country. The trajectory would surely not have been the same. I’m sure you get me. 

What am I getting at? Different situations all add up to who we are. Now, it’s all about taking time out to self-reflect on the life we have lived so far, and take a visual image of where we want to be in the future, then draw the line of the path (future paths starting now) that leads there. 

That’s what I tell people while wondering how life could be hard. Fingers aren’t equal, for Christ’s sake, DJ Cuppy got born rich and she started her life from there. Meanwhile, Olamide was born poor and started his life from there. Different journeys, different strokes, different circumstances, for different people. That’s what makes life after Garden of Eden so funny and interesting … (apologies if you don’t believe in Bible stories). 

Basically, we are all different, from different backgrounds, with different interests and goals. While it’s easy to keep tabs on other people’s lives and make inferences out of it, we should take ample time out to think of our lives (self-reflect), then infer if it’s what we want. If not, we should dream (mental visualization) of the future we want and come up with ways we can get there. That’s the line I want us to draw. You wanna change something about your life, just fucking try as much as needed to change it. You wanna add something, add it. 

For instance, I want to be a guy that builds companies, cos the ideas keep popping in my head. And simultaneously, I want to write movie scripts, I want to write novels, and I want to build one of the biggest blogs to come out of Africa (blackpenng.com in case you are new to my blog). But, I was born and bred in Ile – Oluji in Ondo State (ok. Technically, I was born in Ile-Ife, 7th day Adventists hospital. Shit! Who asked me, Damola concentrate!)

So many times I have seen myself as not being able to pull this off, that I don’t have it in me. And don’t get this wrong, I’m not saying this cos I need empathy or something, I’m driving somewhere. 

Dreaming is free. In fact, everyone can have a dream, and everyone can achieve it. Ok, maybe not everyone. And the reason why “the poor wouldn’t cease from the land” is; some people are unfortunately bred in circumstances that are actually so very difficult to stand up from. Imagine someone born in a desert somewhere and haven’t ever experienced civilization, he wouldn’t dream more than having the next meal. 

My point is, realize your situation, your current opportunities, your current environment. If you can read this gibberish I’m spewing, which means you are in a better place than millions of others that are in abject poverty. 

Whatever leverage or opportunity or luck you have, you don’t have to feel bad if others don’t have it. You need to leverage it to make the world a better place. That’s what I appreciate about Davido and DJ Cuppy. Fine, they were born into wealth, but they started from there. 

Find out where you are (self-reflect), figure out where you wanna be (visualize), and plan and execute the activities that will get you there (work it out). 

Now, know this. Of course, not everyone will have the strength in them to actually achieve big dreams. Like I even said earlier, it’s all different people with different goals, and interests. So, what is Success (a dream) to you, might not be the same to me. If it’s money that matters to you, find out how much of it you want, chase the bag. Do you want to disrupt industries and make change happen? Be like Adejumo Kabir and keep at it no matter how hard. 

Those who don’t achieve are those who give up because things are hard and just settle for less. It’s not their fault, life can sometimes be funny, and that’s why we pray that life falls on us in pleasant places. Amen, somebody? 

Elon Musk is a great inspiration of mine. The guy has been dreaming of space and all since he was a kid. He launched 3 rockets outta the money he made from selling PayPal to eBay and kept funding despite blow-ups. He could have just settled with the remaining 20 million or so, had he left and decided to start a smaller firm. But the guy made d 4th one and now, his name is going down in history on the 27th as the first “Private” citizen to build a spaceship that sends men to space. 

You see after that 3rd rocket blew up, others would have stopped, others may have taken another route (and may even be successful at it). But Elon knew he wanted space travel, and he stuck at it, till he got it. 

You’d notice I’m not using myself as an example in this write up, this is cos I haven’t done much as I would have done. In fact, I’m writing this to tell myself that Oni Oludamola Olukunle, you just need to keep pushing at what you want. 

I tell myself, Life is more. Every time. Ok, maybe not every time, several times. But, the point is, I tell myself, there is more to the life I want than just the money (which is good). Everyone has what would be “success” to them. Even though I want the money, and I will make lots of it, it just doesn’t seem like it’s presence is enough for me to feel fulfilled. I want more! Like I said, different people with different strokes and interests. 

But, I think one thing holds true for us all, we are humans with desires and wants. We need to self-reflect, dream, and work at it. Who knows, the Universe might just smile at us, one day, someday soon. 

Ok, thank you for coming to my TED talk, now what was it you were doing again? Get back to it. 


PS: You’d notice I didn’t put any full stops in “TED”, I don’t want to be infringing on any copyright or something. My TED talk is different from T.E.D talk. Who knows, maybe one day I will give a T.E.D talk, I would really love to. This is just me telling you, if you are an organizer of some sort, I would love to….. you know. Damn! Damola, you talk too much.


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