Updated: Apr 22, 2022
You're becoming someone else all the time.
Think about it. Your perspective on life has changed a lot over the last ten years. Maybe even drastically. You have different close relationships (even if with the same people). Your bank account activity has changed. You drive your car differently. Your eating habits have changed. Your entertainment preferences have changed. You get the point. You're not the same someone you were ten years ago. I'm certainly not. Thank God for that 😂
If you're destined to become someone different in ten years, wouldn't you prefer to become your next someone on purpose?
Most people don't become the next version of themselves on purpose. They drift through life without a target and a strategy to hit it. People do this because they:
1. don't regularly identify their current highest values.
2. they also don't acknowledge when their values have shifted or recognize that their most accustomed behaviors and thought patterns often match old values and not current ones (this is best exemplified by our best intentions not matching our results).
3. they don't know that they can systematically shift their behaviors and thought patterns to match their new values (also known as living a virtuous life) to achieve faster, better results.
4. they don't accept the unavoidable and immediate discomfort of change in a different direction and
5. they don't acquire the skills and strategies to align their thoughts and behaviors to match their new values.
If you don't become who you want to be on purpose, you will become someone else nonetheless. You can do what's uncomfortable now for a long-term result of more ease and comfort or . . .
you can do what's comfortable now for a long-term result of more discomfort.
The book The Slight Edge by Jeff Olsen
explains how this works with a helpful infographic pictured below.
Before hiring my coach and acquiring the strategies to live in alignment with my values, I lived a life full of regret; often dejected in my failure to live up to the potential I knew deep down I was capable of. If you're living like most people, I suspect you often suffer from the same feelings.
To become who you want to be on purpose:
1. regularly identify your current highest values, why you value them and ask yourself if you like your reasons.
2. acknowledge when your values have shifted and assess whether your most accustomed behaviors and thought patterns match them
3. Tell yourself the truth about how character is molded (see below) and believe that you can shift your behaviors and thought patterns to match your new values
4. acquire the skills and strategies to do so.
After you get clear on what you value and why, you must tell yourself the truth about how character is formed and reformed. "That's just how I am" is a cop-out to get out of doing the hard work of walking back old habits and forming new ones. "They have that great life because they were just born fill-in-the-blank," is another lie to get us out of doing the work of constructing a virtuous life.
In my pursuit of living a virtuous life, my coach helped me identify my values and acquire strategies and methods for behaving consistently in congruence with those values. As a result I am being who I always wanted to become, but had struggled for so long to embody. I love my work; I enjoy my downtime; I nurture my relationships; and I create the space and freedom to take care of myself today, tomorrow, and ten years from now.
I'm still becoming a better version of myself every day. As much as I like myself now, I'm confident I'm going to like me ten years from now even more.