Originally Posted on February 28, 2011 by Karri
There is a tendency in the human mind to want things to be permanent. We think in terms of some time-frozen reality where the people we know will always be the same, our job will always be the same and in the same vein, we will always be the same. You will hear people say “I am a carpenter” or “That guy is such a jerk.” Neither of these statements is completely true, and by simply adding two simple words, you can give yourself the opportunity to completely change your thinking. They are “Right now.”
The only period of time we have any control of is the future. The only way we can affect it is in the present. So, let’s start with the first statement and see where this is all heading. Let’s change it to “Right now, I am a carpenter.” Suddenly, it sounds like there is a potential for bigger or better things. Maybe there is a contractor position in the future, or even an acting job. It’s true that this statement also leaves room for things like layoffs, or just quitting your job, but all of these are more true than thinking that you will be a carpenter forever. If for no other reason than someday each of us will all meet our end (more on that later). But sitting back and lumbering (hehe) through one days work after another only makes the worst possible. Good things take forethought, preparation and and effort. Disaster just needs us to be there.
Now lets look at this other statement, and make it something like “Right now, that guy is being such a jerk.” Aha! This formerly pigeonholed individual might be having a terrible day. Maybe he got into a car accident, got dumped or even lost his construction gig. Now at least he’s a little more three-dimensional. Looking a little deeper, we realize that even if “jerkiness” is a pattern of behavior he is in, it’s not necessarily a permanent one. Maybe we can help him change that. We might say something to the effect of “That wasn’t a terribly polite thing to say.” All with his best interest in mind.
You see, in reality, by using language that gives the illusion of permanence, we actively perpetuate aspects of ourselves that we may or may not choose to keep. It gives us an excuse to stop thinking about them. Nothing lasts forever. Nothing is decided except for the past. There’s an expression I like. “If you’re not living, you’re dying.” How I choose to interpret that is that if you are not out there growing, learning, changing and looking to the future, you might as well already be dead, You’re stealing all the direction away from yourself, and handing the steering wheel to every circumstance around you. Take back your future. RIGHT NOW. Start with your job title. Say “Right now, I am a (your job here)” and see where that takes you. Write it down. Talk to the people you trust about it.
I’d love to hear some of your thoughts. Leave a comment below after you’ve tried it.