Every day we have an opportunity to create our own history. Every day we make choices that influence the path we take. These can be little choices. What to have for breakfast… Run or read… Sarcasm or honesty… Passive or active… Or they can be big choices.
Take the job or stay where I am at… Get married… Join that group…
Opportunities to create yourself.
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
This quote comes from George Bernard Shaw who wrote Pygmalion, later used as the basis for the famous musical My Fair Lady, the ultimate tale of transformation. The teacher takes a bet that he can change a common street urchin into a lady. It is tough but he finally succeeds. The urchin behaves and talks like a lady, a huge transformation. But at every step the urchin had the choice to change or remain the same. She latched on to the opportunity and reinvented herself.
I reinvented myself many times personally and professionally. Married then divorced then married. Children changed me. Changing jobs gave me a chance to reinvent myself every time. I had a clean slate to change the way I lead. All those old bad decisions fell away. I learned not to make old mistakes a second (or third) time. I could experiment new versions of me, shedding the behavior or experiences that did not work so well and retaining the parts that worked better.
My sister Martha once visited during her own reinvention process, transitioning from her old persona as a college professor into a consultant advising on student / program evaluation. Her dog Dieter was also reinventing himself with Martha’s help. The Dieter I remembered was a bit wild. He ran all over and everywhere leaving a wake of disaster behind him. Nice dog but wow…
Dieter 2.0 is well behaved and follows instructions beautifully. He does occasionally revert to the character we all knew and reeks a little havoc every so often but we are seeing a new Dieter, a recreated Dieter 2.0. I like this new fellow!
What are you doing to create yourself? Are you challenging yourself? Are you experimenting with new personas? Are you growing? If not, why not? What is holding you back?
You are in charge of the decisions you make every day.