Is Who You Are, The Same as What You Are?

bell icon Wed, Jul 20, 2022
Mina Yogii By Mina Yogii
Is Who You Are, The Same as What You Are?

As someone who loves to write, it is but natural that I love to read. Books open up a whole new dimension to who we are, and provide deep insights into our ever so short stay on this planet. That being said, I wanted to find more people who were looking for the same things as I was. My tribe. I started a small book club. On our first interaction, I put 30 odd books on the coffee table and asked everyone to pick up a book that resonated with them and then introduce themselves. “Please share why you picked the book you did. Then introduce yourself and tell us who you are, but not what you are.” Some people looked quizzically to say, what do you mean?'' Some people struggled to answer this because they are so used to reciting their resume, that it does not occur to them to go beyond and begin on auto pilot. “I am vice president in the world's best company, I am married and a pet parent, I enjoy music and reading books.” Yaaawn.

If you are like most people, you respond well to labels. They are easy, they are well defined and they put you in a neat little box in which you can be gift wrapped for life. Your life doesn't need to be unboxed, we know what is inside the box. All the labels of vice president, doctor, architect, techie, married, single, rich, middle class, the locality you reside in, your ethnicity, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, not to mention Hindu, Muslim, Sikh or Christian. Each additional label seeks to put you in a tighter box. Label you successful or not so much. Why do they matter so much to people? Why do we as human beings add so much value to these labels? Because labels allow us to easily identify people into our definition of being acceptable, or being successful. The more we label others, the more we label ourselves. Some labels are given to us at birth and we have absolutely no control over them, and some we acquire over time.

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Recently I conducted a meditation class in which I asked everyone to pick a new name they liked, give the name a personality and whatever habits they felt this person should possess.  Then they were to become this person. Because who we are is who we are. What we are, more often than not, is just an occupation. There are the rare few, who what they are and what they do is the same, musicians, artists. These are the people who vibrate at a higher frequency. Always.  

Next time you meet someone new, ask them who they are, not what they are. Look at them straight in the eye, and ask, “Who are you…tell me more.”  The people who are eager to share what they do are usually very insecure and looking for recognition and acceptance. Centered self aware people will often simply smile, and will share what really truly matters to them. 

Deep down inside, when nobody is watching, what is important to you. Are you kind & helpful to others? Or are you joyful and a lover of the outdoors....musically inclined....deeply spiritual or very intense as a person. Do you giggle at your own jokes, are you the life of a party? Are you a lover of animals?

When I ask myself who I am; I can say I am someone who celebrates life. I look for small moments that give someone joy and every opportunity possible. I use those moments well. I love exploring new places and people. I take the same person to work and use my time to explore spirituality and kindness as part of the work I do. Once in a while I get mad, I'm not zen-like all the time. But on most days, my who and my what meet each other. Sometimes fleetingly, sometimes all day long.

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Recognise who you are beneath the social labels, go deeper. And discover your true self. See others through the same lens. Next time you meet someone new, try asking ‘who are you?’ It won't be easy as they struggle to seek self expression but it will be totally worth it.

P.S - This blog is really who I am, but it's not all I do.

✍️ By- Mina Yogii

Mina Yogii is an inspirational speaker and writes a weekly blog, 'Yogii…A Little Bit of Magic,' showing people how to find their abundance and tread their life’s journey more gently. She enjoys helping people unfold their unlimited potential in a manner that is very simple to understand. You can share your feedback with her at You can also follow Yogii on instagram.