When in the course of human events it becomes necessary to run full-steam into the daunting brick wall of an identity crisis — perhaps precipitated by the loss of a job, or the realization that “Cool Runnings” was actually a bad movie – most of us respond with variations on a predictable cycle. Our sense of self is annihilated by gale force winds of shattering doubt. We eat ice cream. We watch “True Detective” on endless repeat, simply to throw things at the screen when our fellow nihilist Matthew McConaughey finds religion or whatever and proceed to bellow “WRONG!” when he tells us the light is winning. We eat ice cream. We strike up an intellectual correspondence with our parakeet, complete with PowerPoint presentations outlining our multi-faceted theories on how best to survive a zombie apocalypse. We eat ice cream. After a period of time, we venture out into sunlit lands, where the cool breeze of a blooming spring day softly brushes our NOPE NOPE NOPE TOO MUCH JOY GET BACK INSIDE.

 

Are you looking to break the cycle? Do you want to live a life filled with joy, meaning, purpose and Brazilian lovers? You, my parakeet-loving, McConaughey-hating, ice cream-gobbling friend, are in luck.

 

Welcome to MUI PR Blog’s definitive guide to finding yourself in four easy steps.

 

Step #1 – Accept That Life Is All About You

Forget about the hundreds of thousands of living, breathing human beings you will encounter over the course of your existence. You are the most important part of your life.

Try this deeply philosophical thought experiment to prove the point. There is an “I” in “life.” But is there a “be generous, thoughtful and unselfish to other people”? ABSOLUTELY NOT. Proof positive you are at the center of the universe, or at least the English language.

In a recent study, scientists found a direct link between a healthy sense of altruism and murder. Your studied disavowal of all your redemptive character traits in pursuit of a supremely you-centric existence will save lives.

 

Step #2 – Make Money

This is way easier than it sounds. Stephen Richards, a noted self-help guru and celebrated author of such valuable tomes as “Develop Jedi Self-Confidence: Unleash The Force Within You” and “Miraculous Money Manifestation Affirmation” recommends visualizing your desired state and repeating the following phrase:

“There is nothing around me but money, money, money.”

Your correspondent tried this, and is now trapped in his apartment by gigantic stacks of hundred dollar bills.

 

Step #3 – Talk To Yourself In A Mirror. Literally.

The indomitable Elizabeth Gilbert tells this story of catching sight of her reflection in a mirror:

“In that moment, my brain did an odd thing – it fired off this split-second message: ‘Hey! You know her! She’s a friend of yours!’ And I actually ran forward towards my own reflection with a smile, ready to welcome that girl whose name I had lost but whose face was so familiar.”

Her conclusion?

“Never forget that once upon a time…you recognized yourself as a FRIEND.”

Want to one-up the guru who penned “Eat, Pray, Love”? Have an actual conversation with your reflection. Ask yourself what you thought of the latest “Orange Is The New Black” episode. Disagree sharply with your conclusion. Exchange some heated words with yourself regarding taste and good judgment. Inform yourself that you are an uncultured troglodyte without a shred of self-awareness. Challenge yourself to a duel. Leave feeling vindicated and slightly confused.

 

Step #4 – Find Some Diem To Carpe

At the end of the day, finding yourself is a difficult task. The search for identity can feel like a matter of G.P.S. coordinates and search-and-rescue dogsled teams rather than to-do lists and logical life goals. Self-help guides may not be your forte. Your soul may not like chicken soup.

The important thing is to carpe every diem like it is the last diem you will ever see. Some diems are harder than other diems, but all diems can be successfully carped if you have the right attitude and the latest in diem-carping technology.

Failing that, your correspondent is always willing to discuss zombie apocalypse survival plans with you. Currently, his amount to something like: “Give up.”

 

Do you have any words of wisdom to contribute to your correspondent or our dear readers looking for a light to guide their way? Does the computer monitor count as the light that guides the way?  Find me here, or on Twitter @aa_murph