As the year comes to a close and we start to take stock of what has happened in the past 365 days we tally up what has worked and what has not, what has brought us pleasure and what has not, and the lessons we have learned or not learned. As I do this, one thing becomes apparent to me, and that is that it is more important to my successes to change my mental image of who I am then who I actually am. Let me explain:
If I change who I am I have to fight my mental image of myself. Let's look at my battles over the years with drinking soda. I often knew I should stop; it was bad for my teeth and bad for my weight. I would tell myself ,"Okay I am going to cut out soda from my diet,"and I would for a month or so and then I would be hitting up the soda fountain machine at work again. A little over a year ago when I decided to stop drinking soda yet again I did something different, I told myself that I was a person who did not drink soda. I altered my mental image of myself. Now when I want soda I don't hear a voice in my head that says, "Bad Quinn you should not do that," instead it just feels like that is not me.
So, by altering how I see myself, how I define myself, I can steer myself away from bad behaviors and on to good ones. This of course raises the question, how do we change our mental image of our selves? There are only two ways I know of, willpower and belief. We must believe that we are our own masters, and if that is true, then there is nothing about who we are we cannot change. Then we have to have the willpower to see ourselves the way we want to and to hold that vision until it replaces the old image of ourselves that we want to change.