About Me

I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.

Monday, December 6, 2010

What is Your Identity?

Have you ever thought about your identity?  So much of the time, people form their opinion of someones identity by what they are wearing, driving, and how they live materially.  Identity's are also thought of by what a person does for work, or a career.

The truth is, your identity has nothing to do with those things, but has all to do with your essence as a person, your character, your personality, and how you believe and feel.  Yet in our world we focus so much on what a person has materially, rather than who a person is inside.  That is your true identity.

Do you form opinions about people by what they have or own?  Do you think someone has more value if they drive a luxury car, or wear expensive clothes?  Do you think someone is better because they live in a beautiful large home?  If you have said yes to any of these questions, you need to think again about what a persons "real" identity is....and also what it is you think about your own identity.

I have worked with many extremely wealthy people during my career as a fitness professional.  I can tell you from my own experience that money and wealth have nothing to do with a persons character or personal identity.  Some of the people I have met and worked with who have been very accomplished financially, have been wonderful, caring, giving, individuals.  Some of the people with wealth that I have worked with were not of kind character, giving, or caring of others.  It is their essence that gave them their identity, not their wealth.

Nice clothes, luxury cars, and expensive homes, are not what makes someone a great person.  There are many lovely people in this world full of compassion, kindness, and other wonderful traits, that don't have any money, or material things.  These things do not define who we are.

When we see people driving an expensive car, we tend to make a judgement about them that puts them in a better category than others.  If we see someone wearing expensive brand clothing, we see them as a higher class than most.  This is so untrue.  Things do not define anyone, but they can create an illusion of identity in others.

If you have parents that are wealthy, than you probably have had nice things.  Does this make you better because your parents were able to give you a better material life?  Is a woman married to a wealthy man better because she has an expensive lifestyle and lives in a mansion?  No...neither of these things are true.  If you are given a lifestyle because of someone else's efforts, it has nothing to do with your identity or character.  It just makes you lucky to have parents or a husband that can afford you nice things.

Your identity is about who you are.  How you think, believe, and feel about things.  Are you compassionate towards others?  Are you kind, loving, helpful, hard working, honest, disciplined, or curious?  Or are you selfish, rude, mean, self centered, or lazy?  Most of us have a many different character and personality traits in us,some good, some bad, but these are the things that define you, not what you have or own.

When you leave this world, you will not be remembered for the car you drove, or the house you lived in.  You will be remembered for who you were, how you lived, and who you touched while you were alive.  We need to focus more on being a better person, and focus less on what we and others have.  Having nice clothes, cars, and houses, is not a bad thing....it is only bad when it becomes your identity, and that is all there is.  If your identity is in what you have...choose again....think about who you really are inside...that is your essence.

Don't be so quick to judge others by what they own...and don't judge yourself by that either.  Be the person you want to be, and let the material things enhance that.  We could use more people in this world that care more about people and less about what they have.  I believe that if you are a good and caring being, you can create whatever material life you want.  Have your identity be about who you are, not what you have. 

Till Thursday,

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