Begin to be now
what you will be hereafter.
--- William James
Here’s one of life’s great ironies: you become not what you think you will become, but what you do while you’re having those thoughts. In other words, your life happens while you’re thinking about your life.
Plan to buy a house while going to Vegas every month to gamble and you become a renter who gambles. Talk about traveling to distant lands while working your days away and you become an office drone who daydreams. Alternatively, you can make the decision to start doing whatever you visualize—even if only a little bit at first.
If you want to become more resolute, take a few small, resolute actions. If you want to become empathetic, start acting empathetically in little ways and they will add up and strengthen your sense of empathy over time. Reading books on empathetic communication and studying how empathetic people act will give you plenty of theory to hide behind, but are unlikely to make you more empathetic unless you also practice empathy daily.
The same applies to any significant change you want to make in your life. Whatever you wish you hadn’t done in the past . . . don’t do it now―act differently! It only takes a short period to feel the new energy in your life that new actions generate, and soon you become someone resolutely headed toward their goals.
Anthony Silard is the president of The Global Leadership Institute and the author of the Simon & Schuster book The Connection: Link Your Passion, Purpose, and Actions to Make a Difference in the World. To receive Smile, It's Monday each week in your inbox and a free copy of Anthony's new audio CD, "The Surprising Source of Your Passion", enter your email here (1-step only).