Who you think you are is who you become.
This may sound new age, but it is not. Many of the great philosophers we know have taught of the same concept, and due to its practicality, logic and application, the value of such construct becomes ever more significant to the times. In a world that sees people as a sea of diversity, counting on the outstanding competetive value of the individual; it matters that a person knows himself and is in control of his self to find a niche and succeed.
Human identity, according to Rene Descartes is defined by the individidual ability to think. Existence or being is determined by that intellectual facility to reason and argue, to understand problems and define solutions. The Greek aphorism of knowing thyself, which Socrates alluded to the practice of self-examination, reverb in the modern and even into the post-modern constructs of understanding the human psyche and even the divine in the human being.
Even the religions of the world apply this construct of understanding one’s self for its emancipation and elevation into the eternal. Natural science explains the immesurable potential of the human mind as thinking machine to predetermine the actions of the human body, the behavior of the individual to himself and towards others in the society. Physiologically, the brain has neurological functions and affective roles to give an able individual the control over his body and so his life.
Very few understand the value of a good mindset to effect a good life. Although, in common beliefs, many agree that a positive outlook in life results positively as well. Some others even look into the ancient oriental beliefs on the laws of karma . While others are mystified by the no-secret at all law of attraction. The writing on the wall is clear, “who you think you are is who you become”.
Should you call this a philosophy and hold it as a guiding principle in your life, then you are up in the making of the person you may have yet no idea at all. The big question mark in the JoHaRi window, that tells something that others and you don’t know about could get clearer to you by now, as you internalize and become more aware of the power of your mind to change you and your life. The said principle is not a mantra that you keep repeating to yourself, it is a life-changing process.
Stephen Covey teaches of life-changes and finding voice as a change of habit. Peter Senge posits the importance of vision and systems thinking. A vision, just like any dream is a product of the mind, the difference is that a vision is constructed consciously, while a dream dwells in the subconscious. You need to seize the vision first to cease from mere dreaming or wishing fantasy. That’s where you begin, according to Covey, with your end in mind. Then you need to face the challenge of changing the habit.
A change of habit needs a change of mindset. You are a habitual creature as you have rituals and territories. You like to dwell in your comfort zones, stick on the conventions, keep the status quo and drop the idea of change because it inconveniences you. Yet, in the most troublesome times when you are stressed, pressed and downcasted with problems, it gets to your nerves that you clamor for change. That is a crisis that could result to a turning point in your life. But then rarely do people notice this, and so you are not able to transform your self and live the life you ever wanted.
How do you see yourself, then? Who are you? What are you? What makes you who you are? What do you want in your life? If you see yourself a failure, then you become a failure and so you can never succeed. If you see yourself happy in where you are now, then you do not want to be in other place. If you think the meager thing you have is sucess, then what else will you look forward to? If you think, this world is your only home, then there is no other final destination for you.
When you face the mirror everyday, what do you see? You want to see the best in you, the best in your surface that your eyes could see. That is your body, the image that others you think others will probably see. But there is more to you that is unseen by your naked eye. Antoine Von De Exupiery tells this to kids: that the most important things or the most beautiful things in your life are not seen by the naked eye. But then, everything is relative, yet social interacting individuals have a set of agreed values to that relative thing.
You may argue that there are just things that one cannot change in one’s life. There must be many, and that is true. There are non-elective traits and characteristics you have in your personality or in your life that you did not even choose, yet you can change them. Electively, you can choose the way you want your life to be, the way your body to be, the way you want to act, the way you want to think about your self and the way you think about others, the way you want you want to live and even the way you want to die.
No one knows your thoughts, but you. No one understands your situation any better but you. No one can actually manipulate your thoughts lest you allow others to. Your change of mindset about yourself, about your abilities, about your decisions, about your past and everything else about you and your life, can yield to the changes in your totality, in your identity and personality. But, all these will require that you act on that thought.
Only upon knowing yourself then you can choose and act right on your way to the change you want to see in you. If you can not change your mindset, you can never realize that change in your life, neither can you be so influential to affect change in others.