One of Strengthfinder's premises about identity is "as you grow, you become more of who you already are."
I agree with this to an extent. There are certain parts of your identity that don't change; certain activities that you engage in will always bring you pleasure or pain, and you are almost always attracted (non-sexual connotation here) to certain people more than others.
The idea then, is to identify those parts of yourself that are likely to be permanent, and become 'who you want to be' in a way that is consistent with those parts of yourself. In other words, become who you want to be while maintaining who you already are.
For example, I dislike the idea of lying to other people in order to get them to buy something. (From where I'm at, many people seems to have no problem with that philosophy.) Therefore, I will never go into sales as long as I perceive that the prospective company uses such underhanded tactics. This is an integral part of me; I can never lie to other people in such ways.
This ethic of mine once led me to a situation like this:
-House phone rings. I pick up, annoying friend of mom's called.-
Mom: Tell her I'm not around!
Me (on the phone): Umm..my mom said she's not around.
The difficulty lies in determining what qualities are enduring and what qualities are not. This would probably take a lifetime's work. My advice, try and change some of your qualities you think are enduring, and if you feel a very strong resistance throughout the experiment (must be sufficiently long), you can be sure that it is an enduring part of yourself.
You can also interview some old people (mid-forties to mid-sixties) to ask them whether there are some parts of their identity that has been on the bandwagon for as long as they remember. This may provide some insights.
There's good reason why certain parts of our identity do not change. If we are 100% malleable and non-differentiated, making choices will very, very complicated. We would have been eaten by other animals by the time we decide to make certain decisions.
Last edited by Rimuel; 12-05-2011 at 02:19 AM.