We are what we repeatedly do and what we repeatedly think.
We literally create who we are based on the patterns that reinforce and allow to continue.
This may seem obvious— but there seems to be an epidemic of people who think they are somehow something OTHER than what they repeatedly think and repeatedly do.
They seem to think that they are nothing more than the sum of their past.
Or they think they are nothing more than the sum of what others think about them.
Or they think that they are destined to carry on, for ever and ever, the legacies of their family members.
We get these ideas in our heads because we want our human existence here to mean something. Some people really like the idea that they are more than the sum of their patterns of thought and behavior; whereas other people are quite dismayed by that thought.
I’m here to tell you that there is no need to complicate it— and there is no benefit to doing so.
The fact that we are what we repeatedly do and what we repeatedly think means we are in the driver’s seat.
It means that we can change who and what we are.
It means we are not beholden to the past, to our family legacies, or to anyone else’s opinions or viewpoints.
If we don’t like who we are or what we’ve become, there is one way out of it: change our patterns of thinking, and change our patterns of behavior.
Unless and until we change what we do and what we think, we do not change who and what we are.
What this means is, no label or diagnosis has control over you.
No genetic predisposition has any control over you.
No court ruling has control over your fundamental identity.
All of these things can INFLUENCE who and what you are— but I would encourage you, strongly, to look deeper at this equation.
How and why do these things influence who and what you are?
The ONLY extent to which ANYTHING can influence who and what you are is by influencing what you DO and what you THINK on a REGULAR BASIS.
You do not need to be held captive to your influences.
Because you can (and will) be influenced does not mean that you do not control your choices.
Because you can (and will) be influenced does not relieve you from responsibility for choosing who you are and what you’re all about.
Think about the fact that anybody who wants to influence us— what do they want to influence, specifically?
That’s right: your thoughts and behavior.
Because of exactly what I am saying: your regular thoughts and behavior are literally what defines you.
Do you want to change your life? Start simple.
Make a list of things that you regularly DO and regularly THINK.
Look not at isolated thoughts and behaviors; look at PATTERNS.
You’ll quickly come to find that when people refer to their “personality,” all they are really talking about are their predicable PATTERNS of thinking and behaving.
The good news is: patterns can be interrupted.
The better news is: patterns can be replaced by different patterns.
Your current patterns didn’t evolve overnight; your new patterns won’t develop and solidify overnight.
But if you’re capable of developing the patterns you already have— you’re capable of developing different patterns.
Patterns you choose.
Patterns that align with your goals and values.
But first thing’s first: get real about accepting that we are what we repeatedly do and think.
No more; but no less.