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Be that now

Are you waiting for the life you want to begin? Don’t wait: be that now.

Being that now

A participant asked in one of my seminars: “I’ve got a problem. I’m one of three sub-CEOs in my firm and in two years our CEO is due to retire. One of us will be promoted but I don’t know whether it will be me.”

“Are you being the CEO now?” I asked.

He mistook me for a second, “No, I’m not the CEO . . . “

“No, I know that but, if you were being the CEO right now, what would you be doing?”

“Well,” he replied, “I’d know each department’s progress against their targets and budgets and where the breakdowns were and would be coaching the team leaders. I’d ensure my relationships with our managers and supervisors were sound and would be communicating directly with our stakeholders so that I knew that our firm was meeting their expectations. I’d be walking the floors talking to our people directly, getting to know what’s really going on, and I’d keep abreast of the politics in the firm. ”

“Are you doing that now?” I asked.

“No.” he responded.

“If you were, what would be likely in two years’ time?”

“I’d be promoted.”

“Yes” I said, “and even if you weren’t you’d probably make CEO elsewhere because that’s who you would be being.”

Or do, then have, then be (happy)

A few decades ago Jaguar ran an advert (sadly I remember it): “If you’ve owned a Jaguar there’s one thing you can say about your life: you’ve been successful.”

Editor’s afternote: sadly, the writer has never owned a Jaguar (his wife, however, has owned three).

Implicit in the advert was an assumption that runs in the world: ‘Do, have, be.’ If I work my socks off (do), then I’ll get a Jaguar (have), and then I’ll be successful and happy.’

Do, have, and then be. In fact, subconsciously, we have an assumption that every action we take will bring us to a higher state of happiness. I’ll just do the washing up, then we’ll have a clean kitchen, and then I’ll be happy(er). Our happiness is always the other side of the next action we need to take.

Try it the other way round

But actually, if you want a rewarding life, it works better the other way round: “If I were being successful now, what would I do with what I have already?”

Those who are successful have experienced as much chaos and mire in life as you and me but somehow they chose to do whatever it takes in those situations to be ultimately successful.

To apply the concept is incredibly simple - though often less easy. When you encounter a situation and want to optimise your response in relation to your desired future, ask yourself:

“If I were being . . . a level 5 leader; a master of the long game; a conscientious leader; kind; a professional footballer; a great tennis coach; a successful entrepreneur; a celebrity singer etc . . . what would I do now?” And take those actions.

This is not ‘fake it until you make it’. Your perception of yourself as a yet-to-make-it apprentice is just that: a perception. It is not the truth. In adopting this concept you are choosing to be great in the moment of now, irrespective of what your mind is presenting you with.

So don’t wait for promotion or success in your chosen endeavour, take Dr Ben Hardy’s advice in his excellent book of the same name and “Be your future self now.”

Christopher Jones-Warner

Recommended further reading:

  • 'Be your future self now' Dr Benjamin Hardy

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