You can be anything you want in this world. You can be a fighter, a writer, a hunter, a fisherman, a businessman, a CEO, a prick, a leader, a warrior, a soldier, a father and a husband.
It’s incredible the choices we have if we choose to see them as such. Most don’t. The majority of us are guided into a role and a persona by our folks or school or culture or society or all of the above.
It’s like we’re floating down a river. Where we’d ideally want to get off is to our right, but we’re unaware that the current can be fought and overcome, so we continue to float until the water lets us off where it decides we get off.
This article isn’t about becoming a The Talented Mr. Ripley-like character where you invade different parts of society through trickery and cunning, it’s a matter of understanding who you actually want to be and determining the things you truly want to do and then having the skill set and the courage to go get them.
It’s an exercise I do from time to time when my thinking is limited and when I’m not taking my true aspirations into consideration but instead letting expectations creep in and tell me in what direction to head, how to act, and how to think.
1. FIND YOUR ARCHETYPES.
Determine the attributes, values, virtues, and skills you want to possess by identifying them in real world examples. (Read This: 5 Models of Manliness)
Discipline: Look up Jocko Willink.
Energy/Audacity: Read about Theodore Roosevelt.
Wisdom: Study James Stockdale.
Business Acumen: Devour everything about who it is in your line of work that’s winning.
What do you want? Do you want to make a lot of money, have grand adventures, write books, or all of the above? See the men who did what you want to do and who are who you want to be and study how they do that thing that you admire.
2. CREATE YOUR VISION.
I’m in this process every day, trying to figure out what I truly want from life, not what I’m being told to want. Who I want to become stands in this challenge as well. I have to be my own man but my own man uses the archetypes mentioned previously as models for aspects of my Self that I want to forge.
This doesn’t just happen, but as an exercise you need it to happen. You need to plan it out, using your archetypes and getting in touch with your deepest ambitions and aspirations, forge the man you want to become on paper, in your mind, and then figure out how to do what he does and be who he is.
The simplest way to do this is to write your perfect day as if it’s a day you had to live for the rest of your life. Then write down big goals. Then write down the perfect day you can live with where you are and what you have now.
Start both of these exercises today.
3. CONFIRM YOUR HABITS.
Want to be elite? Have an elite schedule. That is, you are your habits. You’re not your thoughts nor your intentions, you’re what you actually do in the run of a day. Your life is merely the culmination of your days, so make your days great.
Greatness isn’t necessary grand. It’s daring, for sure, but it’s persistent, it’s not sexy nor always glorious, it’s boring and brutal and it’s found in the shit that other people don’t want to do.
Do it. Get up early. Read rather than watching TV. Set the habits that your ideal self depends on for formation.
What you want is dependent not on a grand action, but on the daily habits you either bring into your life or remove from your life.
4. MAKE A BALLSY MOVE.
While a big move depends on the culmination of hard work and takes time, get in the habit of making a ballsy move.
Book a dangerous trip. Make an investment in yourself that will require a hell of a lot of work on your end. Do something that takes guts.
5. SET YOUR PRIORITIES.
What you do with your time, what you think about, and what you give your energy to are your priorities.
If you watch TV more than you read, you’ve prioritized TV over acquiring knowledge and wisdom. If you eat too much food, you’ve prioritized pleasure over health and energy. If you work hard at times you don’t have to be working, you’ve prioritized your future, your craft over ease and laziness.
Not right now, but you as the guy you want to become. What’s most important to him?
He has to be an early riser, an audacious goal-setter, a guy who gives his energy to his work, his family, and things that improve him and them and not the traps that society falls into.
Think about the amount of time spent in front of the TV. I read somewhere it’s around 3 hours a day on average! That’s years out of your life spent watching others live or play or pretend. It’s insane.
Use your archetypes to guide your priorities. What do they give their time to? How do they structure their days or how did they structure their days?
Write this down. Keep it close.
6. DEFINE HOW TO CARRY YOURSELF.
You have to be you, but you also have to strengthen your strengths and your weaknesses and carry yourself like a man on a mission not giving a fuck about the opinions of sheep along the way.
People talk about the guy who has ‘it’. The guy who has ‘it’ simply has purpose. The guy with talent who appears to have it won’t have it for long if he doesn’t align it with purpose.
7. IGNORE THE OPINIONS OF SHEEP.
I haven’t read about or met a guy I’d deem ‘great’ who worries about what others think. Let’s take that a step further into cares what others think.
You have to be your own man. That’s the whole point of this article.
Think about the idiotic, weak opinions that are thrust your way if you’re doing something of value. There are more envious cowards who comment on who you are and what you’re doing because they’re doing fuck all. Then there are workers.
You don’t hear from the workers. They’re working! The cowards in their pajamas, they’re the vocal idiots telling you how to live and who to be and that you suck.
No great man has quelled who he is because of the opinions of sheep, it’s only made him hungrier, helping him find focus not fear.