Who You Want to Be is Just a Future Version of Who You Already Are

So start bloody living like it.

Emily Wilcox
Jun 28, 2020 · 6 min read
Photo by Alexander Milo on Unsplash

You are an amalgamation of every part of yourself — we already know this. Your past selves and your current selves, your allergies and your style. Your preferences and your habits. Your passport number and your Amazon wish-list. You are every sentence inked onto every page within your story. Every comet zipping at over 2000 mph across your skies. We already know this.

Which means, by rights, you are also all your future selves, too.

And no, okay, I don’t quite mean literally.

If it’s been your dream to be a mom but you don’t yet have a kid then yeah, you’re not technically a mother, so you’re much less likely to have a cute baby themed afternoon tea hosted in your honour despite how ruthlessly you bully your pals into buying you tiny pink and blue cakes and scones. If you are set on becoming an Air Force pilot but have yet to endure the training and acquire your license then yeah, purchasing a uniform off eBay and waltzing onto the base trying to discretely slip inside an A-10 Thunderbolt II plane (first one that came up on Google) and take it for a quick spin probably isn’t going to fly. And I mean, sure, at some point in the future we’re all going to, you know, not be alive anymore, but that doesn’t mean you can whip open a velvet lined coffin and just stew in there, mindless and unmoving.

Life is still all about the present. BUT.

You already are what you’re going to become.

No, really. Let me elaborate.

Introduce Yourself to Yourself

Not just as your current position or your past experience, but who you are at your core. Even if you aren’t quite there yet — if it’s something you inherently love and desperately desire, combined with tireless work, passion and belief — then you will be.

You’re at your second cousin’s thirtieth birthday party, surrounded by an amass of human beings you’ve never before met in your life (you only discovered you had a second cousin last weekend when you tried to sign up for a new Tumblr URL using your last name as the theme and it was already bloody taken. By her). Most of them had been on the gin for forty minutes before you’d even arrived. Perhaps some of them waltz over to you. Perhaps some of them stagger (more likely). Perhaps they take an interest in your kind eyes and loving smile, and consequently begin to start questioning you about your very own self (hey it’s not my fault you’re so damn beautiful, inside and out).

Sure, you can’t exactly introduce yourself as “the new host of the BBC’s Live at the Apollo” if that’s not what you are. Because, you know, mama didn’t raise no liar, am I right? But that doesn’t mean you can’t talk to yourself like that. Lie to yourself freely, frequently, fervently! Because it’s not lying, it’s reminding. It’s informing yourself of who you’re going to become, of what you’re aiming for, of what you will be.

It’s an odd notion that you should remind yourself about the future — but that’s the point. All of time is connected, interlinked, looped around. It’s just that we’ve happened to stick a couple labels on it and made it trickier for ourselves by dictating and measuring our lives against it’s man-made linger progression. But hey, we’re humans and we love a challenge. That’s why there’s so many Sudoku books at an airport.

So essentially: stop saying “I want to be an aerospace engineer” (especially if you don’t mean it. You never know when NASA are lurking, listening in, moments from scouting you, welcoming you quite literally on board and suddenly you are way out of your depth and orbiting the moon) and start declaring “I am an aerospace engineer”. And then add in a gentle whisper after a subtle cough, “in some future realm or dimension”, just so you don’t look too crazy.

The point is: start manifesting it, my friend.

Live As Though You Already Are

And one of the best, most efficient and yeah, downright fun ways of living the life that you want is to, you know, live the life that you want.

By living it as though you already have it.

Granted, it’s not as easy as strutting around Aldi in your astronaut pyjamas convincing shoppers that you’ve pooed in space (well it is. It’s also as fun as you imagine. Don’t ask me how I know that) or borrowing ten grand from your uncle for a deposit on that beach house in Crete because hey Uncle Brian, I am the inventor of a VR immersive experiential game and this is where I live now. You can’t quite make those drastic changes on the back of only your mindset shift.

But hey — those drastic changes suck anyway. Since when was it the big, extravagant things that mattered most? Spoiler alert; since literally never.

It’s the little things, the tiny alterations that you can implement into all corners of your daily life, that are paramount. Such as having the confidence in your abilities that you know you would have if you were already the CEO of a smoothie company like you had hoped. Such as being as thoughtful as you know you would be if you were already the motivational speaker you’ve always wanted to be. Such as taking care of yourself, expressing gratitude for what you have, radiating passion and perseverance and proper hygiene — just like you would if you were already there, at the top, right where you’re heading.

You want to earn a living as a successful caricaturist? Live as though you already are. Start drawing for strangers, for free. Gift your talents to people you know and people you don’t. Draw celebrities and post them on your Instagram. Save up your money as though it was derived directly from your output of art. Make a business card and a Twitter account and put yourself out there, digitally, tangibly, excessively. Be thankful for your skills, be proud of what you can do, and be certain that you are good — because you damn well are. Launch your value out into the void, consistently and repeatedly and yeah, it will likely be for free at first. But if you start providing what you’re itching to provide, then eventually you’ll start gaining what you’re destined to gain. You’ll become who you are.

You want to be fit, healthy, strong? Live as though you already are. Buy fancy gym wear from your neighbour’s sister’s sports shop. Wear it, even when you’re just sat on the loo. Start eating healthy, start exercising more, start glancing at yourself in the mirror with pride. Envision yourself exactly as you want to be, then be thankful for exactly who you are right now. It’s not just about the action and the implementation and the goal setting, it’s about your mindset. It’s about enjoying the process, not labouring through those workouts, dejected and miserable, just to reach an arbitrary end goal. It’s about wanting to be there, wanting to turn up each and every day and being committed.

It’s not about reaching a specific outcome. It’s about internalising it, becoming it, embodying the entire journey. You don’t just want to have a doctorate degree, you want to be a doctor. You don’t just want to own a quaint Spanish bakery, you want to be the provider of delicious Spanish cuisine. You don’t just want to be a good person, you are a good person, it’s just waiting to come out. So emanate it, reflect it in all your daily habits, even the ones that are seemingly nothing to do with your future dreams. Brush your teeth like a millionaire would (spoiler alert, they wouldn’t. Their teeth would be self-brushing diamonds). Wear pants with dolphins stitched into them, like a true marine biologist. Recycle profusely, you environmentalist journalist. Pee, not because it’s a biological function required of most living beings, but because you can. Because you’re alive.

Live your life as though you are exactly who you want to be.

Because you are, you really are, somewhere along the way. You just need to actively choose to be that, every day of your existence, taking the necessary steps to inch you closer and closer to that tangible evidence that you are who you were born to be. Like Ewan McGregor says (a bloody lot); choose life.

And life, by definition, is every aspect of you. Past, present and future.

So choose yourself. Choose them all.

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Mind Cafe

Relaxed, inspiring essays about happiness.

Emily Wilcox

Written by

I imagine in a parallel universe I might be a caricaturist or a botanist or somewhere asleep on the moon — but here, I am a writer.

Mind Cafe

Mind Cafe

Relaxed, inspiring essays about happiness.

Emily Wilcox

Written by

I imagine in a parallel universe I might be a caricaturist or a botanist or somewhere asleep on the moon — but here, I am a writer.

Mind Cafe

Mind Cafe

Relaxed, inspiring essays about happiness.

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