You Are Who You Choose To Be!

Dear friend,

It’s painfully difficult to stay true to ourselves in today’s modern world. We are our own worst critics, adding this to the mixture. Every action and spoken word will go through a detailed analysis in our mind before a decision has been made. However, this way of thinking brings us to the next question…

Who are we actually? So…

How do you know who you are?

I had an interesting talk with a taxi driver recently while going to my favorite coffee shop. It’s not a long distance, but he wanted to have a more meaningful talk with me, so being an INFJ I happily accepted. 🙂

It got to a question who we are. He asked me, and I only said, I’m Marko, currently someone who is trying to figure out what is the next chapter of my life, and why I keep giving so much to those who give so little to me.

The taxi driver stopped the car (red light of course), turned his head in disbelief, and was probably thinking I am crazy. Mind you, this is Serbia we are talking about, a small country that is extremely close minded and not open to individual values and qualities. Many don’t even know what being an introvert means.

It was my turn to asking the drive who he is. And of course, he said exactly what I expected him to say. “I’m a taxi driver for 15 years, before that my company fired me, before that I worked in real estate, I have a wife, two kids, I live in a terrible neighborhood…

“This is not who you are” I said. “How so?” he replied. I told him that he only told me what is his career, what happened to him, who he loves, and where he lives, but not who he really is.

“Who are you really, when you are not driving, when you are not with your family, and when you are not in your home”?

I’ll never forget the moment when this elderly man took of his glasses and said: “I don’t know… I guess I forgot…” The sadness in his eyes is something that will stay with me for a long time. Unfortunately, he is not the only one who has this way of thinking…

Here’s the truth…

Many with whom I had the chance to speak with connect who they are with their career. Some with people who are in their life, and others with the place where they are at the moment. None of this defines you. There is zero correlation with what you do, who is your friend or partner, and where you live with who you really are. That conclusion comes from within.

So now I’m going to share with you three scary scenarios why is this mindset so terrifying. What you read here won’t be easy to digest, but I want to show you that you are enough.

  1. My work completes me. Your career and what you do is not a measurement of success. You are not what you do. Let me ask you something. If you are what you do, then what are you when you are doing nothing?
  2. This person is my other half. First of all, you are not a half. You are already a complete whole. It’s wonderful having that special someone, but you don’t need anyone to complete you, because you are already enough, a thousand times enough!
  3. I live in the place of my dreams. There’s nothing wrong in loving the place where you are. But that location is only that, a simple location. If you don’t find peace within first, I promise you, you’ll not find it on the other side of the globe, no matter where you go. Look within, this is your “location”.

Everything you just read wasn’t meant to discourage you, quite the contrary. Let your work fill you with joy, allow that special someone to hug you and feel that love, and give yourself the permission to relocate to a far-away land where you will feel happy. Please do all of that, my dear friend. 🙂

But while you are doing this, I want you to know, you are the only person on the face of the Earth who has that permission to look in the mirror and say: “This is who I am.” No one else can do this for you. Not your family, not your friends, partners, or coworkers, only you.

I guess what I’m trying to tell you is…

YOU ARE WHO YOU CHOOSE TO BE!

Love,

Marko

How would you respond if someone asked you: “Who are you?” What would you say? I would love to see your thoughts in the comment section below! 🙂

My Letter To Everyone Who Are Always There

Dear friend,

It can be so difficult to find people who will actually be there. It took me almost 31 years before I found people who are always there for me, no matter what. But the road to reaching that point was more difficult that I could have ever imagined. The reason was simple.

I Was The Only One Who Was Always There

In the past, I was the one who would send that first message or start the conversation. It doesn’t matter how close I was to that person, if I would stop reaching out and being there, I would never hear from them ever again.

This pattern kept repeating itself to the point where I started losing hope that something will ever change for the better. But this wasn’t just about mere presence. The lack of response triggered deep traumas from my past.

Even though I had what you call a regular childhood, that was only a mirage. The reality was that I felt lonely for most of my life. Imagine writing something that’s important to you to someone close only to never receive a response, or get one after a few days with only a nonchalant: “Oh I forgot to respond back.”

Understand, this was something that was happening for years to me. I almost decided one day few years back that I don’t need anyone, and that I’m okay on my own. Luckily, I was wrong regarding that. But I still felt like I’m a merely option to everyone back then.

Because I don’t want you to go through what I did, here’s a small letter to You who are always there.

My Letter To Everyone Who Are always There

I just returned from a small weekend getaway where I took some time to recharge, and hear my own thoughts for the first time in a long time. I’m a firm believer that we sometimes need to silence the external world in order to hear our own clearer.

However, even though I was mostly offline, I kept communicating with only one person on a regular basis. Apart from this amazing human, I made a conscious decision not to message with almost anyone else, as like I said, I needed time to re-align myself.

I had so many incredibly meaningful conversations with this amazing human during my weekend getaway from social media. The surefire way you can know when these talks are impactful is when you completely lose the track of time.

It’s when you forget about the fact you ordered food half an hour ago and you’re perfectly okay with it because you received and are listening a lovely new song, or laughing at a wonderful meme they sent you. It’s when you need help choosing the right sweater (Yes, I’m terrible at shopping for myself lol), and you get complete support in choosing the right one after just one message. 🙂

Because of this, and so many other reasons that would need at least a thousand more pages for me to write to explain it, I’m there for this wonderful person no matter what happens. And I want to tell you something. Be there for those incredible souls like the one I just described, always.

You know why?

Because you’re going to forget all about those who left. You won’t think twice about those who hurt you, or even blink at the mention of the ones who told you you were too much. You will simply be too busy being there for those who are there for you too.

Please trust that you will find the people who will grace you with their full presence and attention. I know it might not look like that right now, but I promise you this.

There will come a day when you will be tired, overwhelmed, exhausted, and upset, but then you’ll look at your phone and see:

“I’m here.”

And everything you went through will be worth it just by seeing these two words. 🙂

Love,
Marko


Do you have people in your life who are there for you as much as you are for them? What’s your experience with this? I would love to hear from you in the comments below! 🙂

5 Surprising Facts About Marko You Probably Didn’t Know

Dear friend,

I think it’s time I share with you some details about myself that I never shared before. It dawned to me yesterday while I was daydreaming on a pleasant Saturday afternoon that here at Dauntless I always ask from you to be vulnerable, but in many instances, I don’t do the same. So it’s time to change that.

Without further delay, here are five interesting facts about me that might surprise you.

1. My INFJ discovery. When I found out that I was an INFJ (the rarest personality type), of course I was happy like all INFJs probably are when discovering this. I finally confirmed to myself that there’s nothing wrong with me. But unlike most, it did not bring me clarity. Quite the contrary. It took me some time to accept it, because I wore the extroverted mask for so long, that I believed I was one. My INFJ discovery wasn’t a pleasant beginning.

Small bonus: Couple of my close people are extroverts, so a big shout-out to them for accepting my innie nature. 🙂

2. The bullying. I was bullied most of my life. Starting from childhood, all the way to high school when it got even worse, even physical. I was the quiet kid who was always picked on, never really given a chance to be who I am. I never raised my voice and I never sought revenge. Instead, I chose my books and solitude as two best friends at the time when I had none. Not many know this, but the reason why I don’t sleep much at night is because I have nightmares on a regular basis due to the bullying I went through as a teenager.

3. Public appearance careers. Know any job where you’re in the spotlight? Well, I did most of them in the past. I was a journalist, event-organizer, announcer, human resources manager, public speaker, customer support agent… Before what I do now at Dauntless Inspiration alongside my dear friend Giselle, I did all those jobs that asked me to always be in the center of attention. For an introvert, that’s not a good combination as we rather want to stay behind the scenes.

4. New Beginning. I never left the borders of my home country for 29 years, (Serbia) before moving to Canada back in March 2018. I’m 31 now. It took me more than five years of preparation to reach the point where I am currently. Only a couple of people know the full extent of what I was going through. It wasn’t easy, but I somehow managed to pull it off. But in order to do that, I left my 9/5 job, moved to a smaller city to save money, had to fully let go the former version of myself, and lost all my friends while preparing to make that leap of faith. You must understand, not everyone agreed with me on what I wanted to do. Well, almost no one did.

5. My bigger why in life. When someone asks me what is my purpose, I only tell them: People. When you grow up lonely and without friends (I don’t have that close of a bond with my family, never did), you do your best to find your people, those who understand and accept you for who you are. My purpose in life is to be there for those I love the most. It’s to never allow the grip of loneliness to embrace them. They are few in numbers, but they are my anchors.

And now, here’s one fact I was really scared to share.

The big surprise…

As much as I want to make a global difference with Dauntless Inspiration, and I know I will do that alongside my amazing friend Giselle, there’s one thing I kept too long to myself. So it’s time for me to let it out.

The goal that pushes me forward, the reason why I travel so much, the wind behind my back, that bigger why in life I talked about to me is to sit next to someone I care for the most. Just to sit next to them. To listen and talk about something meaningful, or just simple things.

Years of isolation and focusing only on career taught me that no amount of money, influence, or power will hold your hand when you need to let it all out. It won’t hug you when you land on that airport, and it won’t tell you: “I enjoy you.”

So if life ever presents me a choice, to choose between my career I sacrificed so much for, or the people I love more than myself? Well, I will not blink twice if I ever have to make that choice. 🙂

I want you to know…

Me in Seattle, April 2019 (I had major conflict should I post a picture of myself lol!)

You will accomplish a lot in life on your own. As in, hella lot. But be vulnerable when you can, and trust the ones you cherish the most. Not because you will give your heart on a sleeve, and thus maybe allow someone to hurt you, but because this is how you’ll find the people who are meant to enter your life, and stay.

These people, the ones who stay no matter how difficult to love you believe you are (and you’re not), they will be your courage, your strength, and your light when all other lights go out.

If you haven’t found them yet, please keep searching, and know that there’s one soul writing this article who is there to listen and cheer for you, no matter what. 🙂

Love,
Marko

I literally poured my heart in this article, so I would love to hear what you think. What are your thoughts on the choices life gives us? How much are you willing to sacrifice to reach the place where you wanna be, and be with those you love?