It’s okay to tie your identity to certain things

Alexei Sorokin
4 min readJun 17, 2024

How would you describe yourself at this moment in your life journey? Let’s say you meet a stranger — what are the key things you’ll mention about yourself? Or, if you’re asked — in a friendly way — in a job interview to talk about your non-professional life, what will you talk about?

Let me consider myself. You can look at my Medium bio. It’s all there, summed up in a couple of lines. A Russian immigrant in America. A father of four. I run and write. I mention Cambridge and Harvard because they remain my life’s biggest achievements, for better or worse. I say “for worse” because if I had built and sold a company for a billion dollars, I’m not sure I’d highlight my educational credentials from decades ago.

Let’s also consider the concept of identity from a more complex angle. Which aspect of your life journey, if removed, would cause significant mental distress?

I’d be in pain if I couldn’t run for a long period of time. Running has become, by far, my life’s biggest passion and hobby.

I’d be sad if my union of twenty-five years with my partner fell apart. I’d survive and find a way to move forward but my lifelong ideals would be shaken. I’d be disillusioned with life and big ideals.

Is your identity mostly an internalized perception, or is it intimately intertwined with how you interact with the external world?

Is your identity about the things you’re excellent at? Or is it about the character you’ve…



Alexei Sorokin

A Russian immigrant in America, father of 4, Cambridge and Harvard Business School alum. I run and write every day.