I yam what I yam . . .
I am a perfectionist. I am afraid of big dogs.
. . . and that’s all what I yam.
I am inclined to beak off. I am impatient.
I am 41 years old
is a very different statement than
I am a vegan.
The “am” that we think of as permanent identity
might actually be a choice, repeated again and again.
– Seth Godin, The imprecision of “am”
What? Who does Seth think that he am? I am literal-minded. I am judgmental. These are not choices I repeatedly make.
Or are they?
One of the two clearest findings of one hundred years of therapy is that satisfactory answers to the great “why” questions [Ed’s note: Why we are the way we are.] are not easily found; maybe in fifty years things will be different; maybe never. . . . The other clearest finding of the whole therapeutic endeavour, however, is that change is within our grasp, almost routine, throughout adult life [Ed’s note: emphasis added]. So even if why we are what we are is a mystery, how to change ourselves is not. . . .
Mind the pattern. A pattern of mistakes is a call to change your life. The rest of the tapestry is not determined by what has been woven before. The weaver herself, blessed with knowledge and freedom, can change – if not the material she must work with – the design of what comes next.
– Seligman, Learned Optimism
Well, I am dagnabbed. I don’t suppose that I’ll ever be good at spatial stuff: Some things really aren’t choices but, rather, the material I have to work with. But some things are choices, and maybe more than I think.
The past is not all what I yam: I am also the rest of the tapestry that I choose to weave.