Defining Yourself

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Let me ask you a simple question:

Who are you?

I am TheHaysWay.

Now, let me ask you a complex question:

Who are you?

I am…

If you were to die tomorrow, who would you be remembered as? What would others write on your gravestone about you? (Insert name here) was the best employee he/she could be. (Insert name here) was the best student he/she could be. (Insert name here) was the best boss he/she could be. If you died tomorrow and you were the best you could be at something, would it be something meaningful? The conclusion you come to may be startling in terms of tomorrow because that is very much present based, as there isn’t a lot you can do in one day to change everyone’s perceptions of you. (If it would be something meaningful, I congratulate you. I would be willing to bet that it wouldn’t be something meaningful for the majority of the world’s population.)

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Now think about the same question with a greater time frame: If you were to die in ten days, who would you be remembered as? What would others write on your gravestone about you? This is slightly less present based. You would likely be able to change a perception or two of you. However, ten days still isn’t nearly enough to change everyone’s perceptions of you.

Now, an even greater time frame: If you were to die in ten months, who would you be remembered as? What would others write on your gravestone about you? Now we’re pushing the time orientation more. Now that we’re transitioning to a future-oriented perspective, you are being given enough time to change multiple perceptions of you. However, ten months still isn’t enough to change everyone’s perceptions of you.

A much greater time frame: If you were to die in ten years, who would you be remembered as? What would others write on your gravestone about you? Now we are in a total future-orientated perspective. Ten years is likely plenty of time to change everyone’s perceptions of you. Why? Because if you can commit to who you want to be remembered as and act according for ten whole years, people will likely believe that you truly are what you want to be.

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Now that you’ve reached a time frame in which you can change everyone’s perceptions of you, let’s take a look at all of the different time frames we just went through. We started with tomorrow. Then ten days. Then ten months. Then ten years. Think about each of those time periods when answering the question about who you’d be remembered as. Tomorrow seems pretty clear, huh? I’m guessing you would be spot on in predicting what you’d be remembered as if you died tomorrow. Ten days is fuzzier. Ten months is even fuzzier. Ten years seems invisible, huh? I’m guessing you would be totally off in predicting what you’d be remembered as if you died in ten years. It’s funny how as you change people’s perceptions of you, you are also changing your own perception of yourself. Not only is ten years significantly more time to convince other people of who you are (as compared to one day), but it’s also significantly more time to convince yourself of who you are.

I know that thinking ten years in the future is difficult. Believe me, as a college student, it’s hard for me to think a day into the future. Not only is it difficult, but it’s also terrifying. It’s scary because we don’t know what it holds. Our difficulty in seeing it results in our fear of it. Now think about this: you have absolutely no idea when you are going to die. Maybe it will be tomorrow. Maybe it will be in ten years. You don’t have to see into the future at all to know who you would be remembered as. So if you would be remembered as the best employee you could be or the best student you could be or the best boss you could be, why not make a change? Maybe it is too late for you to change that perception, but maybe it’s not. You couldn’t possibly know. Live everyday as the person you want to be remembered as, regardless of what you might currently be remembered as. Our actions define us, both past and future. Don’t regret your actions of the past, simply look forward to positive actions you can do in the future.

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So, be something more meaningful. Be the best father you can be. The best mother you can be. The best brother/sister you can be. The best friend you can be. The best husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend you can be. The best person you can be.

Who are you?

You are whoever you want to be. Because whoever you want to be is who you can be. It’s who you should be. It’s who you will be.

That’s all for TheHaysWay today, make sure to leave a comment along with a much-appreciated like. Have a pleasant tomorrow.

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