Before we get started: Personal Identity - how you identify among others, how you stand out, your ego, your self-perception. Collective identity - what makes you fit in society, the way you're categorized by the mass, your stereotype. Good. That's out of the way.

Here is the issue we're dealing with; most have a tendency to neglect personal Identity and focus on their collective one. How so? You'd ask.

Let's face it, when you read the title you agreed but didn't feel concerned. HAHA. I'll answer you. The thing with collective identity is that you as an individual don't really see it. Which is normal.

You're self-absorbed (I hope you are), but maybe a little too self-absorbed to reflect on yourself. Weird? Not so much. It's absolutely normal for us to think that we're special. It's normal for us to think that we're different and doing things differently.

Because we've been conditioned to by society. Now, I don't think I should expand on that. (Comment expand if you think I should) Anyway. Here is the thing, we tend to subconsciously set standards that we think are our own but are largely shaped by what we see around us.

Most of the goals we set for ourselves are nothing but copies of the achievements we've seen someone else reach. However, the problem begins when (willingly or not) many (similar) profiles start following the same path.

Stereotypes are created and we end up being one among others rather than THE one among others. Rat race. Why? Because all of you will try to be THE one. Yet all of you will become the same. Get it? Collective identity.

That's when even when one stands out, he's still just the best of many others doing the same. Now here is the thing: Why would people fall into this? Why would someone so stupidly become like their peers in their quest to become unique. Answer: Lack of self-awareness.

You wont find yourself by looking outwards and analyzing others. You wont find yourself in the social conditioning. You'll find yourself buried deep in your subconscious because society works in a way that kills the self; slowly but surely.

That's the system were fighting against. Back to topic. Where do you find yourself then? In isolation. Mindful isolation. Goal driven isolation. Self-discovery oriented isolation. Replace isolation by reflection and it's still valid. Is that too vague?

Two words: Meditation. Journaling. "Oh but everyone says that" Sure. Nobody says why. Here is why: You wont find yourself on the surface. You wont find yourself during your inspirational moments but rather when you're short of it.

That's when you get to know yourself the most because in the face of idleness, in the absence of conditioning, when everything external runs out: You finally reach yourself and understand it better. And it's not easy nor simple. Because at first, it's overwhelming.

But it's by giving it time that you start understanding yourself better and grasping the full extent of your person. The quest to fulfillment isn't external. All of it is within you. I won't say this enough: You are the architect of everything around you.

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