Why are we attracted to titles? The “what” we are’s? Professions, labels and social statuses have been enshrined into the very core of what we are as societal beings for thousands of years.
One man is the Pharaoh, chosen by the Gods to lead his people and envisions the pyramids. Another man is the slave, bound by chain to build these pyramids for the Pharaoh. Another man is the slaver that whips the slave, and earns his pay. Another man is the farmer that plows the land to feed the rest.
Yet, no matter who we are or where we came from, if we were to be cast out into the wild for good with no social structures, would you still be a doctor? Would you still be an engineer? If so, why? What reason would there be to distinguish you from no one else around you? You would just be a human being, and previous knowledge would help or hinder your survival in a world without actors, actresses, props or a stage. You would simply have to abide to the law of what is and always has been, and learn to adapt to it without relying on those around you.
You wouldn’t be able to make ends meet by busking on the side of the road while shaking your fist at the main body of government that keeps the structure you willingly live in afloat. You wouldn’t be able to scavenge by buying low and selling high as a trader anymore. You wouldn’t be able to pretend you are your title more than anything else anymore. You wouldn’t need to convince anyone you are more than you appear. You would simply be you. You would simply be against everything until you found a way to adapt to everything.
So at its very core, does it matter what you choose to label yourself as? It matters to your ego, and for everyone else’s egos, and since we are a social animal, it helps on some level… Just not on the level that is above all levels.
Who you are is much more limitless than what you are, so invest into the who more than the what. Knowledge, experiences, ethics, intentions, dreams, actions, maturity… These things are embodied, rather than worn.
However, be careful not to fall too far into the depths of “who”. Be aware that if and when you do, you are stepping into a realm of where the ego defines itself, which in and of itself, becomes a “what”. Just choose to be. Confidence in yourself and the world will come, along with many more questions, and fewer, yet truer answers.