Knowing what you want to be, and who you want to be, is the first key to actually being that person. “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you are saying” is a good quote that describes, more often than not, how most people are. They say they want to be kind, generous, and patient when they are being mean, selfish and impatient. Awareness is how we get to where we want to be. If you want to become an improved version of yourself, you first have to know what you want and then you can begin to go in that direction; what you do is who you are, but when you change what you do, you change who you are.
I’m always amazed at what people say about themselves sometimes, and how that really contrasts with what they do. What’s the quote? Something about what you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say.
That sentiment means so much to me, because I know that in spite of wanting to be generous, patient, compassionate, and thoughtful, I am often selfish, impatient, intolerant and closed-minded.
And I know that at the same time I’m yelling at someone who cuts me off in traffic, I’m also thinking of myself as a good parent because the reason I’m in traffic in the first place is to get to a child’s sporting event.
Obviously, I am infinite; I contain multitudes, and I am a living example of the concept of duality. But sometimes I wish I were more finite, more completely who I want to be.
I believe that knowing what I want to be, and who I want to be, is the first key to actually being that person. I also understand that I am a work in progress and always will be. I can accept that, but I’d rather accept being who I want to be, and not who I sometimes am.
Because I know that when I get impatient, that means I am not patient. I can’t be both patient and impatient at the same time; I must be what I seem to be, and not what I want to be.
That really kind of stinks, doesn’t it? I mean, if we want very badly to be better than we are, shouldn’t that wanting count for something?
It should. And it does.
Because when we want to be, for instance, more patient, we become more patient. Sure, it takes time. (That’s a patience joke, in case you missed it). But the desire to become more patient makes us aware that we are impatient. It makes us notice when we’re not being who we want to be.
And that very awareness is how we get to where we want to be.
If you want to become a an improved version of yourself, you first have to know what you want and then you can begin to go in that direction. And one of the ways you will know you’re getting there is if you start feeling bad when you don’t do what you want to do.
I guess that’s what they mean by growing pains. If you don’t do something that you know you should do, you get feedback from your conscience. And I don’t know about your conscience, but the feedback mine gives is rarely pleasant and reassuring.
So the thing to remember is that what you do is who you are, but when you change what you do, you change who you are.