There comes a time when the various influences in our lives cease becoming external forces and begin dissolving into our own identities. Some influences make the cut and are fully assimilated, while others do not and remain external forces, not to be ingested and incorporated.
The selection process is highly subjective – our minds and emotions often come to our defense when we undergo any event new to us, as there is usually a level of trauma associated with it. It is at once the best and worst time for the event to enter our consciousness and forever alter it. Some of us, by virtue of upbringing or at least amount of exposure, are inclined to accept an influence if the event outcome is positive, others if the event outcome is negative. The event’s significance also needs to be of greater than normal, normal being a parameter that is subconsciously determined within the individual. Perception of the event’s importance can be altered through direct cognitive effort, or indirect feedback from other individuals that matter.
Our animal instincts to obtain food, shelter, and to reproduce, provide us with the base purpose of our lives – at the very minimum, a mentally, physically, and emotionally able individual will endeavor to fulfill these needs, with varying degrees of success. As we develop cognitively, we directly or indirectly give ourselves further goals, some of which solidify into purpose, some of which get dismissed as passing whims. The culmination of parsing these purpose statements becomes that which forms the basis of our influence selection process.
Put another way, our purpose informs our identity. We change who we are to get to where we want to be.
As such, it is incumbent upon us to select a destination that warrants changes that we would be proud of, or at least not at odds with when we get there.