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Transformational life lessons: What is your identity? – Part 1

By Lanre Olusola
25 July 2019   |   3:36 am
In the next few weeks I will be writing about “Transformational Life Lessons”, I believe you can’t do without in your Life, IF you want to live a peaceful, harmonious, happy, satisfying and fulfilling life.

Lanre Olusola

In the next few weeks, I will be writing about “Transformational Life Lessons”, I believe you can’t do without in your life, IF you want to live a peaceful, harmonious, happy, satisfying and fulfilling life.


I have discovered that people are struggling and will always struggle to create value in their lives, careers or businesses simply because they can’t tell the difference between their characteristics (functionalities) and their identity. Most people are getting this identity question wrong.

Do you know that your characteristics (functionalities) are different from your identity? For example, an Apple iPhone X is the identity while things like Dual camera, Face recognition, Siri, 256 GB memory, Touch screen, 5.8″ OLED display, Glass body, Edge-to-edge display, etc. are its features or functionalities which are like characteristics that we humans have.

Thinking that features, functionalities or characteristics are your identity is very wrong. This is the main difference between Apple and other phone manufacturers. This is the reason why the Apple brand value has been number 1 for almost a decade (only recently overtaken by Amazon with Apple coming second). Still very impressive, right?

The same reason why Apple phones are much more expensive than other phones. The main reason why Apple has a cult following. Apple never sells or pushes their features, functionalities or in human terms, characteristics like the other phone brands. Apple sells their identity and brand – they showcase their essence.

To build your brand value like Apple, you have to first know the ESSENCE for which you exist which encapsulates your identity.

So again, let me ask you: What is your IDENTITY?

“It’s a sad fate for a man to die too well known by everyone else but still unknown to himself” – Francis Bacon

“In other living creatures, the ignorance of themselves is nature but in man it’s a vice” – Bothius

“An Unexamined life is not worth living” – Socrates

“Significance, Peace, Meaning, Fulfilment and Satisfaction are man’s Ultimate Pursuit; ONLY PURPOSE can reward man with them”
– The Catalyst

Your Environment, revealed through your Behaviour, Competencies, Capabilities, Core Beliefs, Values and Culture, can shape your IDENTITY. The most critical thing about IDENTITY is that it SHAPES your Personal, Life, Enterprise, Relationships and ultimately, your OUTCOMES that is who you become, relate with, marry and ultimately what you achieve in life.

You need to start thinking about your IDENTITY because it gives you the right to live a worthwhile Life.

Your IDENTITY is your right to EXIST; You MUST be PROUD of who you are, hence you carry this everywhere you go and you should introduce yourself with a sense of PRIDE which should DRIVE you and your daily actions.

First of all, if we are black, we are Africans and Africa is our root IDENTITY.
We need to wake up and shape up because we are NOTHING without EMBRACING our TRUE IDENTITY. When EACH AFRICAN embraces his/her IDENTITY and WE EACH become ALL WE are created to BE, and then AFRICA will RULE the world.

In-Game of Thrones, their IDENTITY was their right to EXIST. They were proud of who they were, hence, they announced and introduced themselves with a sense of PRIDE and it drove them and their daily actions. This was exhibited by the houses, their sigils (badges) and motto.
Examples of some of the main houses, their sigils and motto are:
1. House Lannister of Casterly Rock, represented by a Golden Lion with the motto – Hear Me Roar
2. House Stark of Winterfell, represented by a Grey Wolf with the motto – Winter is coming
3. House Targaryen of King’s Landing represented by a Three-headed Dragon with the motto – Fire and Blood
4. House Tully of Riverrun represented by a Silver Trout with the motto – Family, Duty, Honor
5. House Tyrell of Highgarden represented by a Golden Rose with the motto – Growing Strong

What is your IDENTITY?
Your IDENTITY is from within not without.

Your IDENTITY is not your colour (black), your religion (Hindu), your alias (chief), your name (Lanre); role (Dr.); job (Manager), relationships (wife), etc.

Your IDENTITY is what subconsciously draws you to people.

In the first instance, relationships don’t give you an identity even though over time, you may be influenced by your relationships. You had an identity before you married, hence marriage doesn’t give you your identity.

You had an identity before that education or job so education and job roles do not give you your identity.

So what is left of you after you have stripped yourself of all these external labels?

“Who and what are you in the dark, when there’s no external encouragement, ovation or accolade?” – The Catalyst

Arya in Game of Thrones became a blind, faceless girl, stripped of everything she held onto just to find her true Essence, Path, and IDENTITY. You will have to also INTENTIONALLY strip yourself of ALL worldly things, props, adornments, accolades, crutches, scaffolds, external noise, and DIG DEEP within introspect to find the real you.

Many are afraid to do this exercise because they may not like what and who they will meet. You need the courage to do this exercise. I personally did this over the just concluded 50 days of silence series (your own clock can start now).

When you do, you will find the real you, anyone else you entertain or strive to be is only a fake version of you. You can’t be the BEST version of yourself except with the Real Naked YOU.

To help you discover your IDENTITY, get a Life Coach to help you through this journey of Self; Identity; Purpose Discovery by sending an email to

…To be continued