“I told you that I was less interested in how you feel and more interested in who you want to be…
I asked you to write down those same three words in the opposite direction. It’s the direction that holds the most promise for your life:
You begin by asking, “Who am I going to be?” You decided to be courageous again.
So what’s next? Act that way. Act with courage. And here comes the part that’s so simple it’s easy to miss: the way you act will shape the way you feel. You act with courage and immediately your fears start to shrink and you begin to grow.
If you want to feel differently, act differently.
This ain’t complicated, my friend. But it’s amazing how many people get it so wrong for so long.” -Eric Greitens in Resilience
This was a such profound statement when I read it. So I had to re-read it again. And again. I highlighted it. Then I finished the chapter. The next day I came back to it again and re-read it again. As I thought about those three profound words that Eric wrote, I worked them over and over again in my head to see if they were true. Could it be that he is onto to something? Our culture is very caught up into our “feelings”. We ask each other “how do you feel?” How do you feel about this policy or plan or this restaurant or that restaurant. From every day actions in our culture, it’s feelings, feelings, feelings. We take actions consistent with those feelings. That is the only way to explain how a “snooze button” was ever put on a alarm clock. If we feel tired or depressed or fearful, we identify with those feelings and that is our state of being. Lets face it, that doesn’t help us to strive to be the best version of ourselves. Our feelings are very fleeting!
This comes from a chapter titled “Identity” where Eric turns this type of thinking on its head and offers a profound new way to think about our feelings. And the order of these three simple words is CRUCIAL!
The way to become the best version of ourselves as Eric tell us is 1) decide who we are committed to being (IDENTITY) then choose ACTIONS that are in integrity with that identity and then we will experience the positive FEELINGS that flow and are a result from those choices and behaviors.
Let’s us resolve to put this into practice daily.
IDENTITY —> ACTIONS —> FEELINGS
This is how we build better American. This is how we build character!