Do What You Want to Be

“Well done is better than well said.”

Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanack

Ambition is one of the key components of creating lasting change in our lives. In order to achieve something — learning a new skill, making a goal happen — we have to create a high level of drive and dedication.

But ambition is a double edged sword. In the act of pursuing a different life — work that we love, being surrounded by meaningful and welcoming friends, deep love and affection, freedom, etc— we realize that our your current reality isn’t were we want to be. Who we are doesn’t match who we want to be. Think of this as our current state versus our ideal state.

This here vs. there friction can look like (and hide itself as) a lot of things. It’s staying up late watching tv and getting up late, even though we’d really like to get up early. It’s saying yes to events and work that we don’t really want to do. It’s putting all of our energy towards everything BUT what we want to do.

How do we become who we want to be, despite all these things that keep getting in our way?

Luckily, like a book title that tells you everything you need to know about the book, the answer is hidden in the question: To become who we want to be, we must be who we want to be.

Marcus Aurelius, the Roman emperor, wrote it best “Our actions may be impeded, but there can be no impeding our intentions or dispositions. Because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.

Or, as Terry Crews once said on The Tim Ferriss Show (one of my favorite interviews):

In order to “have” you must “do,” and in order to “do” you must “be”.

We can’t expect our ideal life to fall from the sky into our laps. We have to create it. We have to love where we are, while doing what we can every day to be the kind of person we want to be.

Action generates being.

It’s as if our conscious actions are absorbed into who we are subconsciously.

By staying up late watching tv, we become the type of person that wants to stay up late and watch tv (to the point where it’s hard to go to sleep unless we do). By working at a job we hate or find mediocre, we become the person who becomes okay with having a job mediocre for us. But the opposite is also true: by doing the thing we want to be, we begin to be the person we want to be.

And that starts with how we do the little things and being kind and generous to others.

The thing about generosity and be nice to others is that it has equal if not more effects on us. Generosity radiate onto the person or people receiving it, but as a side effect it keeps radiating within us too.

Hold the door for others. Take the grocery cart back into the store instead of just leaving it on the curb near your car. Fix the broken things around the house when you notice they are broken. Smile and say hello to your neighbors. Help a friend when he / she is feeling low.

By holding the door for others, you are telling yourself that you are the kind of person that holds the doors for others.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #736

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