Becoming the Person We Want to Be
Sometimes we look at other people and think “Wow, she’s got it all together. She is active, fit, and healthy, and has a clean house and good kids and a great marriage and lots of friends and the perfect life! Why can’t I be more like her?”
We have all wondered why some people seem to “have it all” while others don’t seem to have any of it. Is it just luck? Or circumstances? Were they just born at the right time to the right parents?
The Comparison Trap
It is all too easy to fall into the comparison trap. We look at someone else, and then we feel inadequate. The wrong size, the wrong hair color, the wrong makeup, the wrong job, the wrong possessions.
God has given each of us our own set of unique gifts and abilities. You could say that we each have our own special skill set! We are not supposed to be like everyone (or anyone!) else. We are perfect just the way He made us, in the sense that He gave us exactly what He wanted us to have for the unique life that He has called each of us to live. This means that we are exactly what He meant us to be, when it comes to things like what body and personality and calling we have.
He has also placed each one of us in a special time and place to live life, and under circumstances that He knows are the best for us!
So rather than comparing and wishing for something else, we must choose to not only be content with, but also fully embrace the way God has made us. Each one is a unique individual, called to live a certain life and make a difference in the world in a particular way. Now that is pretty special!
Not Just Luck
Having said that, the flip side of this is that we absolutely do have a say in what happens in our lives and to a huge extent, who we are!
No, it’s not that some just “got lucky” and ended up with a “perfect” life. The people who are where we want to be in (terms of goals met) generally have had to work very, very hard to get there! They have had to be consistent and committed and dedicated. They have had to have a clear vision of where they were going, and a really good reason for wanting to get there.
For some, it is easier than others. Maybe they ended up with an inheritance that funded extensive education or travel or other opportunities. Or maybe they were in the right place at the right time to get that dream job. But even these cases are so much more than luck! As we said earlier, God has such a unique plan for each of us, and a perfect way that He chooses to implement that plan! But He has also given us a whole lot of choices to make along the way!
It can be tempting to wish that we were just kind of thrown into the “right” place at the “right” time to reach our goals more quickly and have the “dream” life. But think of it this way: those who haven’t had to work hard for what they have attained do not value it near as much. Often they lose it because they don’t realize what a gift it is!
And with the process of hard work and determination come so many character-building opportunities that are simply next to impossible to get any other way!
Not Just Circumstances
It is also easy to think that had we been under different circumstances in life (whether as a kid, or in school, or in the workplace, or whatever it might be), that our lives would be better.
Have you ever read the stories of the great figures in history? Whether they were political leaders, missionaries, writers, or explorers, the one thing they almost all have in common is this: they endured lots and lots of intense hardships before they became the people we know them to be. Think of the apostle Paul, or Christian missionary to China Hudson Taylor, or America’s first President George Washington, or inventor Thomas Edison. None of them had and easy time of it! And yet they became great regardless of circumstances.
Who We Are Depends on Who We Choose to Be
So if it’s not luck and it’s not circumstances, then what is it that makes us who we want to become?
In essence, we become who we really, truly want to be. If we want to be unemployed and play video games all day, then we will do everything in our power to become that person. Or if we truly want to be a disciplined, healthy, contributing person, then we will do everything in our power to reach that identity.
It all starts with the way we identify now. Our perceived identity shapes who we will become. The brain is made to act on what we believe to be true!
So if we believe that we are lazy and out of shape, our brain will work with our body to make sure we stay that way. But if we choose instead to start believing that we are meant to be a healthy, fit person that God put on earth for a special purpose - and if we truly believe that - then our brain will get to work to make sure we start acting like that person.
Putting in the Work
Just thinking “I am a hard worker” or “I am a loving wife” or “I am thankful” is the first step in the process. But we still have to put in the work!
Thankfully, once our identity has shifted, this part is so much easier! Once we believe that we are an active person, we then don’t struggle as much with working out regularly. But we still have to consistently make that choice each day to put on our running shoes and go outside.
It always starts with the little choices! “Today I choose not to eat that potato chip, because I am a healthy eater.” It’s not someone telling you you can’t have it. It’s not even you telling yourself you can’t have it! It is you saying “I choose not to have it, because that is not who I am. I could eat it if I wanted to, but deep down I don’t want to. Because I am a healthy eater.”
To read more on this topic and why it is also vital to have a reason that is bigger than yourself, check out this article: Why You Need a Purpose Bigger than Yourself in Oder to Reach Your Goals.
We will be going deeper into habit change and becoming the person we are meant to be in the near future, so if this is helpful, keep your eyes open for more!
I really hope this is helpful for all of you like it has been for me!