Before New Year’s Resolutions, Ask Yourself, Who Do I Want to Be?
In this time of year when we attend parties and meet new people, one of the first questions people often ask is,
“What do you do?”
This reminds me that there is a much more important question to be asked – one that not enough people ask themselves. And now is a great time of year to ask (or re-ask) the question of yourself:
“Who do you want to be?”
After all, we are human beings, not human doings.
Who you want to be will play a much greater role in determining your happiness and success in life than what you decide to be. One of the truths of this world is that a great deal of people’s unhappiness comes from the fact that they’re not being true to themselves. Decide who you want to be, and then be that person every second of every minute of every day of your life.
Who Do I Want to Be?
Here are some foundational decisions about who you want to be that I have found to be the most influential in establishing the person you want to be:
- Decide to be in charge of your own happiness and success.
- Decide to be someone who isn’t fearful of change, yet respects the value of tradition.
- Decide to be someone who shows others who you are by being true to your inner values, rather than screaming about your causes and concerns.
- Decide to be someone who learns to forgive yourself as well as others.
- Decide to be someone who leads and motivates others rather than controls or manipulates them.
- Decide to be someone who accepts and learns from criticism rather than someone who craves compliments and attention.
- Decide not to let circumstances create you.
Once you’ve decided who you’re going to be, let it be reflected in every action, every statement, and every aspect of your life. Stay true to your commitment to yourself above all else. Use tenacity and the power of will to help keep your personal commitment.
Remember your Shakespeare:
“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man…”
– Polonius in Act III Scene ii, Hamlet, William Shakespeare
Success is not a goal or a prize represented by money or status. True success is a state of mind and an active process that reflects honesty, commitment, happiness, and love.
Of course these decisions are easier to make and harder to do. My point is that if you haven’t made the decision, you haven’t fully committed to trying to live in this manner. The decision necessarily precedes the effort as much as it compels the effort. It’s important that these decisions are resolute and not just fleeting notions. After all, we call them New Year’s resolutions, not New Year’s notions.
© Joe Caruso and Caruso Leadership, 2016. Reprints available with permission.