It has been said that each of us really has four selves.
First of all, there is your inner self, that self which is known only to you and to God. This is the self which is deep down in your heart; it is your "true" self. Although this self is hidden away for the most part, every now and then it comes to the surface and shows itself. Someone might say "His true self is coming out." That can be both negative and/or positive...It all depends on what our "true" self really is.
Second, there is your self which is your mask to the world. It is what you see on faces of other people every day. It is the way they look to you--and the way you look to them. Thus, the phrase, "don't judge a book by its cover." Very seldom, in today's society, do we ever get past this self. We have become very effective in presenting our mask selves.
Third, there is the self that you "ought" to be. This self involves a discovery process. For those who desire to know their "ought to be" self it requires discovering our full potential under God. It involves the process of constantly moving towards what ought to be. Sometimes that is difficult because it is hard to determine "what ought to be." Sometimes it is difficult because we do not particularly desire to be "what we ought to be." Sometimes it is difficult simply because we have become so comfortable with our mask self. Discovering our "ought to be self" always involves improvement. I have never heard of anyone who woke up one morning and said, "I ought to be a serial killer." "Ought to be" in and of itself infers improvement.
Finally, there is the self that you would like to be. This self incorporates all of our dreams and visions of tomorrow. It is a little boy who says, "I want to be a fireman when I grow up." It is the man who says, "I want to be a better father." It is the woman who says, "I want to be a successful businesswoman."
The struggle for Christians is the tug between the "ought to be" self and the "like to be" self. "Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4) does not mean that God will give us what we want--or the "self" that we would like--but rather He will put the right desire into our hearts. The question is... are your desires God given desires?
This is my story...