Who Are You Becoming?
Scroll through the news headlines these days and you’re sure to see something about layoffs, especially in the tech industry. But here’s the thing the news doesn’t always report – there are heaps of companies that are hiring.
Sure, for those who come from Silicon Valley, working in the agriculture or manufacturing industries may not sound as exciting but ask yourself this: Why does having a “sexy” job matter?
Fact is, your job is just something you do. It doesn’t have to be who you are.
Because at the end of the day, the personality you evolve into – the “who” you become – is more important than the job you’re in at a current moment in time.
However, what you do every day feeds back into who you become.
Which is why it’s so important to be purposeful, even in the little things that you do daily – because these small incremental choices add up.
Becoming the person you want to be
Everything you do and experience goes back into your life and influences the person you become. From the things you learn to the people you hang out with to the people you admire and aspire to be. The environment you create for yourself, the communities and networks you become a part of – all these feed back into who you become.
Our evolution is driven by a lot of factors and if you’re not true to yourself, that’s when you experience things like burnout because you’re forcing yourself to be someone you’re not, going against your values.
So, how can you ensure you become the person you want to be?
We have to be intentional about it and be fully aware that whatever decision we make today, it’s a decision we’re making for our future self.
James Clear wrote:
“Today is a great opportunity, no matter your age. Looking back in a few years, today will seem like the time when you were young and full of potential or the moment when you could have started early or the turning point when you made a choice that benefited your future.
The moment in front of you right now is a good one. Make the most of it.”
Chance favours the prepared mind
In history, a lot of things that happened “by chance” could only have happened because someone was prepared for it.
During a lecture in 1854, the scientist Louis Pasteur said “in the fields of observation, chance only favours the mind which is prepared…”
For those who don’t know, Pasteur was the scientist who discovered germs. His discovery contributed to a whole bunch of advancements in the field of food sterilisation and medicine. This was only possible because he had set up the environment needed to make that discovery.
One thing I’ve realised about the people who inspire me, like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gary Vaynerchuk, is that they put themselves in situations where luck can manifest.
Success may be achieved in a single moment, but it’s only possible after years of effort to prepare for that one moment.
Like people say, “An overnight success takes years.”
If success knocks on your door, are you ready for it?
Here’s a scenario I frequently posed to my team back at Supahands:
Imagine the phone rings and Jeff Bezos is calling. He wants to know if you can handle some data labelling. Are you ready to take that call?
Have you done all the upskilling, research, and prep needed to handle that call? Do you know if the data labelling team is ready to handle the sudden spike in workload?
Imagine having a huge sales opportunity knocking on your door and having to turn it away just because you didn’t prepare for it. Or worse, thinking you are ready when you’re grossly underprepared.. Enter the Dunning Kruger effect
“The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias whereby people with low ability, expertise, or experience regarding a certain type of task or area of knowledge tend to overestimate their ability or knowledge.”
How would you feel?
This is why I’m so passionate about learning and reading every single day. I want to make sure I’m ready for those opportunities.
The definition of hell
In Who Not How by Dan Sullivan, he wrote:
“The definition of hell is: your last day on Earth, the person you became meets the person you could have become.”
Imagine years later having to consider the person you’ve become and thinking, “I just don’t like this person I’ve turned into.” It’s like being in a horror movie, but the monster is you.
What’s scarier is that this future is imminent unless we truly reflect on and be intentional about who we want to become, as well as the values that we live each day.
The thing is, most people can’t answer the question: What do I stand for?
Having an answer to that question means you have a North Star – you know exactly who you are, what goals you want to achieve, and the future self you want to evolve into. Knowing all this will help you create an environment around yourself that will enable that evolution to happen.
Happiness is subjective
Someone else’s idea of happiness may not be yours. A colleague might want to drive a luxury sports car and that’s great – but if that’s not what makes you happy, why would you want to strive towards that.
Or you might find yourself in a job you hate, but it’s a high-paying position that your peers would love to have. Is it really worthwhile to keep doing it just because it’s what everyone else wants?
Here’s how I gauge what’s truly meaningful to me: If I’m able to pick myself up on bad days and continue doing the work, that’s when I know I’m doing something meaningful to me.
You need to know yourself to have this experience.
I’ve observed people allowing their job (the what) to define who they are. In reality, it should be the opposite.
It takes time to develop self-awareness
Some of the toughest questions to answer include:
Who am I?
Why do I do the things I do?
It takes time and effort to figure it out, but it’s worth it – especially if you want to design your life with intent, if you want to put yourself in positions where you can experience true joy and flow.
Don’t just let the world define and influence the person you become. You can take the lead and define who you are. Develop your vision, mission, values, and habits so you can decide where and what you spend your time doing (the what).
Who you are right now, today, is a culmination of the decisions you have made for yourself up to this point.
Don’t let the world dictate your happiness and who you should be.
Illustrations created by the very talented Rollyna who was an absolute joy to work with.