Developing care for ourself, living in the context of who we are is more than a set of words. We must find a way to make our life work effectively for us.
Getting stuck in ways that are ineffective or counter-productive aren’t part of a plan which are written in stone. We don’t have to accept the slogan, “that’s the way we roll”, when that way ends in frustration, damaged, in trouble, impoverished or in a failed relationship. Today is different from the day before. Sure, some of the things you do one day carry over to the next but each day can be unique. We aren’t required to be automatons to behave or look the same each day.
What if you were someone other than who you are? You may be perfectly satisfied with the way you live or who you are, however for “the purpose of this mission Mr. or Ms. Phelps”, you need to pretend you’re someone else.
Examine for a moment, what situations or conditions will your imaginary character face? To help with this day-dream, let’s use real world conditions or problems most likely to be experienced. Keep it real. This imaginary person isn’t someone in a video game. Examine the personal traits of the character or person you have now become. How would you like them to react to the problems faced by this imaginary person?
To begin with, how would they dress? What manner of grooming, style of speech would they possess? How would they walk into a room or building? What business or job would they be in?
If someone argues with the imaginary person, what would you like this person to do or say? What triggers or gets a negative response? Would they be unflappable and simply walk away or would they have some pithy comeback?
Now you may think this is ridiculous and not worth your time but there are several reasons for this and here are a couple of examples used by successful actors of the past.
Have you ever watched John Wayne movies? You don’t have to be a big fan to notice how “The Duke” walked. His walk was distinctive and acquired over time. He used it because he wanted to portray someone who knew where they were going and nothing was going to stop them.
When Archibald Leach changed his name and altered his speech and mannerisms to fit in with the mid-Atlantic landed gentry, he became a different person. The new name, vocabulary, pronunciation, grooming, and tailoring all became part of the cool, suave and sophisticated, Cary Grant. Grant once said, “I pretended to be a certain kind of man on-screen, I became that man in life. I became me.“
It’s not necessary to take on an entire new look or behavior, but if for example, you find the actions you take, the words you use aren’t providing the results you desire, perhaps it’s time to examine how you think. Evolution of self begins in small ways, imagine how this life can be different. Envision the end result, find examples of people who implemented a plan and work through it mentally until it becomes part of your new pattern for success. Expect setbacks and accept some failing along the way. Just don’t accept failure as the end result. Dust yourself off and get back to pursuing thoughts, actions and habits which lead to personal success in whatever you are doing.
Decide on the outcome and then work toward that dream. Don’t give up because it looks too difficult or impractical. Life is a journey and the steps we take along the way create our destiny.
A movie comedy came out in 1993 called Groundhog Day. In that movie, the lead character portrayed by Bill Murray, was a not very likable, selfishly motivated TV weatherman on a short, simple, assignment. A human interest story based on the folksy lore of weather prediction by a ground hog each 2nd of February. During this entire movie, “Phil the TV weather man”, begins his day in the same way, waking to his radio alarm clock and finds himself living the same day over again. Phil is the only person seemingly aware of this condition and eventually catches on to the idea of trying to get what he wants by altering his methods. In the end he obtains a successful way to stop the day from repeating by educating himself, acquiring positive habits and helping others. It’s entertainment without preaching that a positive attitudinal change can net a positive day in our life.