Who do you want to be today?
Dale Carnegie , a renowned speaker and writer in the early 20th century, was one of the most famous "self help" gurus ever. Among his many compelling thoughts was this gem:
“If you are not in the process of becoming the person you want to be, you are automatically engaged in becoming the person you don't want to be. ”
Think about that idea.
In fact, reread the sentence, slowly this time. I'll wait.
How do you feel about that statement? Sure, it's catchy, but isn't it also irritating?
The words "in the process" implies I ALWAYS have to be conscious of my decisions. I have to make a plan for my actions and take responsibility for who I'm becoming. The implication is I can't be passive because not to decide is to decide; if I'm not moving toward who I want to be, I am automatically moving away.
I don't want things to be automatic. Some days I'd rather relax and mail-in my attitude and not work on a plan.
Some days, I'd like to coast.
And yet, if Carnegie is to be believed, that's dangerous.
In order to make sure you're as irritated by this idea as I am, think about it this way.
If I'm not moving toward the spouse I want to be, I'm automatically becoming the spouse I don't want to be.
If I'm not moving toward the parent I want to be, I'm automatically becoming the parent I don't want to be.
If I'm not moving toward the friend I want to be, I'm automatically becoming the friend I don't want to be.
If I'm not moving toward the employee I want to be, I'm automatically becoming the employee I don't want to be.
So coasting is out. This life requires mindfulness from us all.
And so, today I'll think less about what I'm going to DO and more about who I want to be. I suppose I should thank Mr. Carnegie for the encouragement...