I bet we all can relate with how anesthesia works in our bodies. We have either experienced it work on us or have witnessed it being used on someone we know. Great strides in the development of modern anesthesia were made and with great breakthrough on the 16th October, 1846 by William Thomas Green Morton with the sole aim of suppressing pain. And yes, the anesthesia performs this role faithfully. Doctors use it on patients whenever they perform procedures that are perceived and anticipated to be painful. When one is under the influence of anesthesia, he/she acts like the most courageous creature on this side of the universe. It gives people the illusion that they can even converse while a supposedly excruciatingly painful procedure is being performed on them.
The effects of anesthesia, however good, do not last an eternity. They suddenly fade away from the patient’s body while making way for reality – painful reality. The once courageous patient now comes face to face with unmasked reality that the body has been tampered with. At this stage pain is inevitable, although not with the same magnitude as that suppressed by the anesthesia during the performance of the procedure. Reality dawns nonetheless.

Most of us in life operate under the influence of anesthesia on full time basis. We are not ourselves, or rather we do not even know our true selves. We operate under the cover of great umbrellas. We do not know how to define ourselves without mentioning the umbrellas covering us. Often I listen to people introducing themselves in social gatherings and I find myself unable to avoid asking pertinent questions. I hear people say, ‘my name is John and I work for XYZ corporation’, or ‘my name is Peter and I am brother to XYZ (prominent)’ or ‘My name is Mary and the First Lady is my former desk mate.’ Put otherwise, many people do not believe they can be relevant without mentioning their employer, their prominent relatives, their celebrity friends and links and the great people they have met in life.
Even when I meet retired people the situation is never so different. A good number of them still refer to their former employers and acquaintances for relevance. Statements like, former bank manager, former army commander, former school mate to so and so and friend to the minister of this or that are so common. In this manner, many people have no identity without the bigger umbrella above them, without the anesthesia effect covering their identity.
The question before us is, how will you define yourself when the anesthesia of your employer is gone, when the anesthesia of your great classmate fades away, when the anesthesia of your celebrity acquaintances leaves you, when the anesthesia of your prominent relatives disappears? Do you have what it takes to survive when the umbrellas are gone or will you succumb to the rain? Your true identity is not time bound. It is not pegged on temporary associations, however great. At the end of the day, people look at you as you and not in terms of where you work or who your relatives are. It matters less how tall your grandfather was, you still have to do your own growing.
I should hasten to add that all is not lost; you still can redeem your identity. Search for your original identity because you have all it takes. God created you uniquely and therefore gave you a unique definition. You are already relevant even before you drag your great environment in your definition. Your identity is bigger than your employer or any other person for that matter, regardless of the position they occupy in society. Curve your own space in society by pursuing your passionate goals. Align your mind positively and begin believing in your capabilities. After all, that is what makes those great people you seek to define yourself by. Do not forget that anesthesia was never meant to last long. You do the rest of the healing on your own. Who are you without these great companies and people around you? Does the world know you for anything save for the big names you mention? Stand and get defined based on your mission in life. Believe in yourself because YOU CAN DO BETTER.

Roy Okonji
Trainer | Motivational Speaker | Team Builder | Life Coach | Mentor

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  1. Wao! A good read. A worthy challenge!

  2. Thank you George

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