“First say to yourself what you would be: then do what you have to do.”

It all comes down to personal responsibility. We simply have to take responsibility to get ourselves where we want to be and to make ourselves who we want to be. But how?

It’s easy to complain. It’s easy to notice how hard it is to achieve our goals, or how long we’ve been working at them (or at least talking about them). It’s easy to wait for circumstances to change, or other people to change, or things to work out. It is so much harder to make the decision and then move forward no matter what. But it’s necessary. It’s the only way.

The keys are locked in Epictetus’s quote. There are five steps that we can take:

  1. Imagine –Take the time to imagine what and who you would be. Watch others you admire for ideas and inspiration. Read books. Look at historical figures, or figures in your life. Perhaps write your epitaph as you hope it reads, capturing all the wonderful things people will say about you.
  2. List – Get specific about your imaginings and start a running list – your ideal list – of what you would have your life be like, and more importantly, what you would be like. List the goals you want to accomplish, the characteristics you long to have, the impact you want to make.
  3. Say – Read your list over. Read your list many times. Read it out loud. Perhaps share it with others. With each reading and speaking of the list you can commit to it more (or drop the items that no longer fit for you).
  4. Plan – Each item on your list can most likely be broken down into smaller, more manageable goals and tasks. Go through your list, take each component and figure out what is the next thing you can do (tomorrow even) to move you forward.
  5. Do – As they say, “Just Do It.” You now have your list of simple actions and decisions that you can make now, that will lead you towards being what you would be.

Commit to taking at least five minutes each day to accomplish a task that will bring you towards accomplishing your list. Life will be grand.

Where do you need to get clearer on what you want to be? Where do you need to do what you need to do?

Make your list. Check it twice. Take your daily action.

How have you moved yourself towards being who and what you want to be?
Please leave a comment to share.

If you enjoyed this post, you can read more like it in our book, The Power of Thoughtful Leadership: 101 Minutes To Being the Leader You Want To Be, available on Amazon.

For support in being what you want to be, contact Robyn at rmcleod@chatsworthconsulting.com.

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