Decide Who You Are and Be It

Image of smoker on a bicycle

Every year, I would add add a resolution to get up early to my list of goals. My resolution would read something like: “Wake up at 5:30 every day” or “Sleep no later than 5:00”.

And each year, I would inevitably fail at keeping this goal.

Oh, my good intentions would work for awhile – a week, perhaps two. Then I would fall into my same old habit of sleeping until 8:30 or 9:00 in the morning. It was at this point I would beat myself up, berating myself for my inability to keep one simple resolution.

Then one day I recalled a conversation I had many years ago , when I used to be a cigarette smoker. I worked on the 7th floor of our building and had decided that I wanted to get into shape a bit. So rather than taking the elevator, I hoofed up the stairs every day. One day, a coworker (also a smoker) saw me coming through the stairway doors. Our conversation went something like this:

Him: “Did you just take the stairs?”Me (trying to catch my breath): “Uh-huh”Him: “Why? Is the elevator broken?”

Me: “No. I’m just trying to get some exercise.”

Him (laughing): “Either you’re a smoker, or your an exerciser. You cannot be both. You really need to decide who you are and be it.”

That conversation popped back into my mind as I thought about my inability to discipline myself enough to wake up while it was still dark outside.

Then it hit me – I am simply not a morning person. No matter how hard I try, this was not going to change – and trying to force myself to become a morning person would only lead to more frustration.

Decide who you are and be it.

This has become one of my mantras and I have now looked at other aspects of my life where I was trying to change, trying to transform myself into something I was not. Once this idea of “being myself” became part of my consciousness, it was amazing how my frustration level decreased. No more doing things I didn’t enjoy just because I felt that I should be doing them. No more trying to emulate other people’s behavior. No more goals or resolutions that were unrealistic or unattainable for me. It truly was as if a giant weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. The best part of all, I found myself to be a much more productive person once I stopped wasting my time trying to be someone I wasn’t.

How about you? Are you trying to be someone you’re not?

Photo by Akuppa

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