‘Become someone else that you were not in the beginning.’ – Foucault.

By Racheal Oboh. She lives in Lagos, Nigeria and works as a lawyer. Please read her article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

It’s necessary to know exactly what you are to avoid a misplaced priority from the beginning phase of your life. Literally, ‘necessary’ simply means needing to be done of present. When something is necessary it’s essential and not optional.


First, knowing what you are makes you prepare for the future you’re expecting to have. You can’t mate an animal and expect a human being. For you to expect a complete human being, you have to mate a human being, and you have to do that because you know what you are, and what you are is a human being, otherwise if you don’t feel it’s necessary to know what you are then you would mate an animal.

Knowing what you are makes you escape a dangerous and/or misdirected path. Even animals have the necessity to know exactly what they are. Do you know that there are animals among animals? A bird cannot fall asleep in the midst of lions. If they do, then they will be dead within a second. If it’s not necessary for a bird to know what they are, then everyday they will keep on sleeping in the midst of lions and not in their nest. Same goes with human beings. But can one say I don’t know that I am a human being and that’s why I slept in the midst of lions? The answer is no. Necessity to know what you are is the key to escape a dangerous path.

What exactly am I?

I’m compassionate. I hate to see people being oppressed by their fellow human being. I love adjudicating for peace. A problem solver, I love to read stories like John Grisham and Wole Soyinka’s book. I admire people who are intelligent with a first class brain. At school, I participated in career day wearing my favourite attire; eloquent in speech and a participant driven for the truth. With all these attributes that were exuding gradually, it was necessary for me to know exactly what I am. Oh yes, you guessed right! A lawyer! I’m now a brilliant practicing lawyer.

What makes it necessary to know exactly what I am?

Is my driven passion, talent and gift deeply in unrest within me? It’s necessary to know what I am, to enable myself to be on the right track. Now, this brings us to our next line: “The main interest in life and work is not to become someone else that you were not in the beginning.”

In the beginning there’s the innocent phase of life, sweetness, and passion driving for something that you know fulfils your soul. You’re still who you were in the beginning – you’re still that doctor who wants to save life; you’re still that lawyer who fight for justice; you’re still that pilot who’s imbibe with fruitfulness; you’re still that writer who educates. But your main interest in life and work in order to become someone else is as a result of:

  1. Misplaced priority
  2. Misdirection
  3. Unemployment leading to the acceptance of any kind of job offer
  4. Lack of vision
  5. Departmental over population leading to alternative choice of disciple at school
  6. Greed

Now, let’s see the meaning of ‘someone else’: an unknown or unspecified person

Peter, in the beginning had enjoyed seeing an air-plane flying in the air and he hoped to be the one flying the plane. He took out the time to study the parts of the air-plane thereafter walking in the direction of being a pilot – of which he is now. His main interest in life and work till date is to ensure passengers arrive safely at their destinations. You have to be passion driven at doing something in the beginning, as your main interest in life and work, to avoid becoming someone else.

Temi, a thief, robs banks. If he’s caught and questions are thrown at him, you will find out that he has become someone else (a thief) of whom he was not at the beginning. You’ll also find out that greed or unemployment issues hit him hard causing him to become someone else.

Yes, we can’t say that Temi being someone else (a thief), is his main interest in life and work. In fact, being a thief will either cause you death, shame, disgrace or imprisonment. Thus, becoming the best version of you is the key to not becoming someone else.

If the main interest in life and work is to become someone else (for example, a killer) just to make fast money, live in a good house, and drive good expensive cars, such a person will find himself approbating and reprobating at the same time.

There are students, who due to parental advice, go ahead to study their parents’ choice of discipline instead of following the path of what they are passionate about. Such people, after graduation, go back to their beginning. They go back to that talent or passion. They know it’s their main interest in life and work. Today, we have categories of people who have studied law, banking and finance, English etc. who have ended up going back to the beginning i.e. rapping, or creating Rnb, solo, or gospel music. That’s because they knew they were leaving that life to become someone else. So, going back to the beginning (the driven passion) is the right path for them.

We have to note here that you may do better if you’re someone else, but you will do greatly if you’re not someone else.

In conclusion, the main interest in life and work is not to become someone else that you were not in the beginning. Thus, the main interest in life and work is to be you, to become the best version of you, and discover the best you from the beginning. It’s necessary not to miss the decent beginning path of you. If you discover from the beginning that you love reading and writing stories, keep it up. Who knows? You may become the next John Grisham, Chimamanda Adichie or any other of the prolific writers.

3 comments on “‘Become someone else that you were not in the beginning.’ – Foucault.

  1. Atere on

    I should towards being the best version of me and not someone else. I learnt that I should polish who I am so I can become better.
    I love your view on this.
    Thanks for sharing!


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