What do people need to forge their own identities? Is there any method (scientific or not) to know if you are on the verge of an identity crisis? These are silly questions, perhaps?
Identity is what makes a person (or a group) different from others. Our world is in dire need of finding common ground, and yet having your own identity might be more necessary than ever. Think about, for example, the political crisis that is facing the UK after the Brexit referendum. Are not the British struggling to understand their role in today’s world?
However, I am far more interested in personal identity crisis. In my opinion, the only way we have to know who we are is by asking ourselves whether we are happy or not. Simple as this question seems, it is easier said than done. In fact, inquiring into yourself is one of the most difficult, repetitive and sometimes Herculean tasks you will ever have to undertake. It is an eternal referendum.
In this referendum there are not winners or losers, though. You can be either or both. It all depends. At the ballot box there will be a single vote: yes, no or so-so. You must not allow abstentions because you have a stake in your well-being.
You will find those who argue that such an existential question is not their cup of tea. I prefer to run the risk rather than to avoid it. The reason why knowing your grade of happiness is worthy lies in the paramount human need to overcome difficulties. Why on earth are you going to improve if you do not know that something is not working?
By looking at your reflection in the mirror while asking “The Question”, you may be able to realise that you have nothing to fear from yourself. Chances are that you will feel ridiculously well after casting your ballot and realising that despite the fairly dismal future, you are more than happy. If it turned out to be the contrary, you would have a golden opportunity to ring the changes on the malfunctioning part of your life.
Last but not least, be yourself. It is all you have.