Who Are We Seeking To Become?

from Seth’s Blog

We get what we invest in. The time we spend comes back, with interest.

If you practice five minutes of new, difficult banjo music every day, you’ll become a better banjo player. If you spend a little bit more time each day whining or feeling ashamed, that behavior will become part of you. The words you type, the people you hang with, the media you consume…

The difference between who you are now and who you were five years ago is largely due to how you’ve spent your time along the way.

The habits we groove become who we are, one minute at a time. A small thing, repeated, is not a small thing.

[And the same thing is true for brands, organizations and movements.]

More here.

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12 Comments

  1. I have always questioned myself, who am I? What do I want to be when I’m older? Why am I here? All of these questions have been eating at me ever since I was a teenager, and I’ve been searching for the answer ever since then. Who am I? This was something I’ve never been able to answer. Perhaps it is because I never found the answer, but I also believe because we are constantly adapting and changing everyday, and thus who we are changes as well. However, if we search for who we are, we’re in fact just searching for the person that we desire to be. I can definitely state that the person I was in high school is completely different from who I am now. We all change, and not always because we force ourselves to change by practicing five minutes of a specific instrument every day, or because we practice feeling an emotion. For me, I changed because I didn’t exactly have the choice but. Being in a position where changing your habit, your lifestyle, everything you’ve grown up doing in order to become better at what you do, or to become the kind of person, that is really difficult. The habits that we develop overtime, are not easy to get rid of, or change, they take time.
    “We get what we invest in”. This is true, without playing a guitar every day, it will be hard to become a professional at it. Everything takes time and practice. It’s not about what it looks like now, five minutes of practicing the guitar doesn’t seem much but in the long run, it’ll be worth it because everything adds up. I agree, we get what we invest, because that is how life is. Without putting effort into something, how can we expect the outcome we desire? If it were like that, then everyone would be at the highest point in their life, they would all be comfortable. However, we are forced to work hard for what we want. We have to practice and train ourselves to be a certain way to achieve certain goals.

  2. I deal with these situations all the time. What exactly I want to be is a question I don’t know how to answer even in my deepest emotions. I like doing many things, but I do not have passion for anything, or at least I do not see it, and for me the huge problem is this. We do not know ourselves, and we try to be people who we are not, and that makes us feel frustrated and ashamed about us, which leads to what was mentioned in the post, we become ashamed and frustrated people, which makes us and the ones around us suffer, and can even lead to worse conditions, such as anxiety and depression. I believe the way to cure this and make us feel proud and good about us, is to first: like our beings, whatever they are, you have to like yourself and be proud of it. Once you do this, you will be able to see what passionate you, and by then, you will have a reason to live and something to look for, which is already way better than pitting and being ashamed of you all the time. Everyone has its value. Everyone is unique, and at the same time, everyone is similar to each other and that is probably the most beautiful thing about the human being: its capacity to be so similar and so different at the same time.
    Still, by stating that what one is doing now is largely going to affect that person’s live for the next five years, in my view is not the best approach to address this situation, as it can put a lot of pressure on such, and by so, cause depression and anxiety, which, then, will affect that person for a long period of time. Even more, in our times, when, finally, people are starting to discuss about these issues, and seeing that many people suffer from this conditions, and how things are working now, and the pressure that is nestled on a person’s shoulders will make people feel more and more like this. I have a tough time when people state: “This is the real world is vicious and you will have to basically live for work if you want to succeed”. Is this really the way people want to live their lives? I can say for myself, that I don’t.

  3. Finding out who one is, is a journey that never ends, but is certainly something worth attaining. I think many people simply move around in this world and exist, while a select few people actually life live. It is important to seek out those who you want to one day become, emulation is key, not imitation. There already has been a Bill Gates, Micheal Jordan, Nikola Tesla, ect. These people have already made their mark on this world and we don’t need someone exactly like them, we need someone new and refreshing. The journey isn’t always going to be easy, and rightfully so. Finding purpose in ones life is struggle, it requires hard work, day after day, everyday. I think part of the problem that people don’t find their purpose is because it is just too hard in some cases. I have noticed that in my specific generation, we shy away from anything that requires any sort of work and effort. We hate willfully engaging in events and tasks that cause us pain and require effort in the short term (either a day, month or year ect.) in order to have a meaningful life with purpose. We lack discipline. Over time, people become stuck in a routine. This routine of going to the same job that lacks purpose and meaning, then coming home where we just sit and wait till the next day to do it all over again really wears a person down, day by day.
    I completely agree with the statement Seth made, “The difference between who you are now and who you were five yers ago is largely due to how you’ve spent your time along the way”. This is what we have been told since our years in elementary school. Put in hard, honest work and one day you will be in the position that you have dreamed of. We have people that come into this world from time to time and understand what they are like after years and years of pursing purpose in their life by achieving goals they have set into place. They spoke their being forward, and they become stronger and stronger. Dr. Jordan Peterson has a great segment talking about waste and how it effects a persons purpose (view video starting at 2:31-4:10). He comes to the conclusion that a person will waste on average about a half of year of work weeks, per year.
    We all waste time, and the issue that manifests itself when we waste time is that we know we are, yet we do nothing about it and we become resentful about those who do a better job than us about time management and pursing their own purpose. This is played out in the classic biblical story of Cain and Abel (one does not need to be religious in the slightest to understand the message behind this story). Cain kills his younger brother Abel, when God does not like the offering that Cain has given to him. But if you read deeper into the story, you find that Cain doesn’t simply kill his brother, he kills the ideal, which his brother is the representation of. Which is way more powerful. This plays out in our modern world as well. People who haven’t found a purpose, or achieved their goals love to tell everyone else how hard it was, and it not worth their time pursuing ect. (this is the death of the ideal). I have noticed that people look at those who work hard, and have a purpose as strange. They question why someone wants to wake up early and pursue their goals. The general population has a nihilistic view of the world once they have failed. It is infectious, and they spread it around those who are around them. This is why people are so quick to give up on their purpose, especially when it is hard. There is no support system in place, and everyone around them always tell them to be realistic or don’t bother wasting that effort because it most likely won’t work out.
    it is truthfully sad on how much that happens, I certainly put forth effort to not let this happen to me, and I try to not project those feelings onto others as well

  4. In the article, “Who are we seeking to become?,” the author delves into the topic of how one can shape their own identity and skill set, by their repetition of said skill. “The words you type, the people you hang with, the media you consume…” (Godin 2) are what shapes you as an individual and creates the views that you have on the world. If someone starts at a new skill, they will not be very competent in said skill. However, as one practices, they will soon become more proficient in the skill. The way one acts, the things that they learn, the media they consume, and the people that they spend time with all shape a person along the way. The article stated something that really resonated with me “The difference between who you are now and who you were five years ago is largely due to how you’ve spent your time along the way” (Godin 3). Five years ago, I was a completely different person. I was in high school and was still just a shy teenager, with no real path in life. However, five years later, I know exactly what I want to do, and this is highly due to not only the positive influences that inspired me to do what I want to do, but also my own personal effort in working on a particular skill set. In high school, I became involved in a culinary program, where I was able to acquire a skill set in cooking as well as baking. At the beginning, I was not very proficient. I made mistakes along the way, and almost felt as if there was no hope in my dreams, to own my own bakery- cafe. However, I kept working, and was very determined to become as skilled as I possibly could. I spoke to my chef-instructors, who inspired me tremendously. These teachers acted as positive influences in my life, and they shaped me as a person. In addition, the practice I was able to complete in this culinary program allowed me to become quite skilled in the culinary arts. Even if I do not open up a bakery-cafe, this program allowed me to realize that I want a creative occupation, where I have say in many decisions, just like in a kitchen. Before the culinary program I was in, I felt as if I was unskilled in anything, and quite unprepared for my future. Now, over five years later, I know what I want in my future, and in my career. This was in large part due to the components discussed in the article. With a determined mind willing to practice even the most mundane task, one is able to become much better at this aforementioned task. When one has this determination, paired with great influences, they are golden.

  5. I realized how big were differences between people when I came to the USA from France to start college 3 years ago. I’ve learnt that american people from what I’ve seen, were very attached to having a good career and making money. And that if you want to do something you have to go get it yourself, and everybody can make it. That kind of slapped me in the face because I was not used to all this career and money chasing. People here work much more that what I was used to back home. And I am very interested in discovering what it looks like in other cultures. I would say that mine is more laid back, about money and work as I said, but also about the path that you take in life such as the fact that we do not really make a big deal of not getting married. I met a lot of people here that were very used to the same way. And I felt sometimes different than the people I was talking to, but at the same time I learnt so much by jut stepping out of my little town in France and coming here.
    It made me think about the things I wanted in life and who I wanted to be, and I came to the point that what really matters is being happy no matter if what you are doing looks different that what the society is used to do.
    I absolutely respect every culture and everything people are used to and I am not saying something is better than something else. I understand that the things I say and think can sound very different from what another person can think, and I believe that is the beauty of this world, and it makes me want to travel more and meet more people from all horizons.

  6. I can agree with Seth’s post. Each and every day we are unique in our own ways. We all have different passions and inspire to be different people in life. The time someone invests in us helps build a person in their everyday life. For myself, I work everyday to build a business background. I have learned what I like and don’t like in a business sense. I have also learned what type of business career I aspire and want to be in. Alongside that, I want to incorporate a passion I have being an esthetician with my business skills. I have not only put my time into my business sense, but also into looking into products ingredients, working on other people’s skin conditions, and finding fixes for their issues, for example skin irritations, pimples, blackheads, etc. As much as some people find that gross and disgusting, I find it to be interesting, fascinating, and intriguing to find out more and as much as I could. I have a confidence in myself being able to help others and I feel I can find that through my love for esthetics. When I combine the two together, there are endless possibilities and options of career paths and companies who need people like myself in their brands. The cosmetology and esthetician field has been growing tremendously. For people like me who put their heart and dedication into doing what they want to do and aspire to do, they will find success in what they do. I do give advice to people who want to help find what they want to do and how I found the career I chose. Personally, I had no idea I wanted to do business or be an esthetician. It wasn’t until I put myself in situations and saw how I am with every day experiences of what skills work best and what I find I have a lot of knowledge, skill, and interest in. It wasn’t until I caught myself wanting to learn more and do more of that work which made the career come about. I do advise to go with their passion and go with what they know they are good at whether that is business, sports, technology, or something else. In order for someone to truly do what they want to do and be happy with their job in the future and not regret it, they must have a passion and like it and not care for how much something pays or how big that industry is.

  7. Many of our lives have the same common theme of phases. We go through several phases as we age, and each phase seems to be a stepping stone towards answering the question this article is asking. I think the question speaks for a lot of people because everyone is trying to find their purpose in life. Some people struggle more than others trying to figure this out. We are constantly trying to find the answers to this simple question. It’s hard for some people to figure out what they are good at and what they’re not so great at. I believe that testing the waters and trying to figure out what your passion is will help to find your purpose in the world. Many of us are influenced by our friends and social media to act and think a certain way but we need to be more independent. If you find something that you enjoy doing, then it’s worth spending time every day to work hard on that passion and get better at it.
    The most important thing to take away from this article is that you create your reality. We have to put in the type of energy and vibes that we want to get out of our lives. Doubting yourself and being negative will only create negative results. Tell yourself that you can do it. Tell yourself that you will do it. Eventually you’ll be saying that you did it. Your friends and family should be positive and uplifting for all of the choices that you make. Having people that support you for doing what makes you happy is going to help in becoming what you seek to be. Never settle for less and be open minded because that can take you a long way. If you choose not to be that way, then you can end up in the same position years from now. Personally, I can say that I am not the same person I was 5 years ago. I think that everyone needs to grow, mature and really try to do different things to figure out what you may want to head towards. Whether it’s having a family, getting that dream job or just genuinely being a better person, tell yourself you can, and you will witness that you will.

  8. Seth’s overall has a great concept of a blog and asks a question that seems to come across my mind ever so often now that I am a junior in college, and that question is ‘who are we truly seeking to become?’ When I was in high school, the main questions were always ‘what school are you attending?’ Or what ‘degree are you pursuing and what do you intend to do with it?’ While these questions were truly way too early for someone who is just getting ready to enter college, it seems on a bigger scale that those questions are necessary to get used to change that many are not accustomed to before entering college.
    Presently, I am in my junior year at Seton Hall University and the change from high school to college is a tremendous one as well as the different years of college. When I was a freshman you just think of the main courses you’re taking and not really about what the end goal is, but certainly have an idea. Each year progressively helps one gain more insight on who they truly want to become as character as well as for an overall career. It is truly necessary to presume that I will learn way more about where my career path lays after this year which is exciting and also carries with its nervousness.
    In my personal instance, my overall career goal is to be the general manger of a professional sport team. There still is much time till I want to reach that career goal and is something I hope to become. With that very hard field, it requires calmness as well as positivity for the situations that may be happening on the field as well as off the field. I would like to center my relationship with God first as well as my family and friends who have been there for me. I still, and always will never forget the people who made a difference in my life while teaching me so many life lessons that I can use to not only better my career, but also better myself.

  9. Seth’s article brought to mind a familiar term: Garbage in, garbage out. It is almost counter-intuitive to think that the activities and the people we immerse ourselves around today will change the person we become in the future. He gives a great example with music practice: “If you practice five minutes of new, difficult banjo music every day, you’ll become a better banjo player”. The key component about this word of advice is continuous development. We learn from a young age how to hold a pencil and write characters. We fumbled with the pencil and often found ourselves writing with a fist-hold. As we grew older, we took on those skills – considering them far no more than rudimentary elements of writing. We began to take on styles of handwriting like cursive and this was ingrained into our way of communication on paper. Comprehension and grammatical error are probably the last elements of writing that we still find challenges in moving into college. But we came from somewhere. Practice makes perfect, yes. But continuous development ensures that you are moving beyond the practice to teaching yourself to be a more effective person than you were before. I liked this article because of this emphasis and see myself taking up the challenge to become who I want to be progressively in the lessons I take on programming in LinkedIn Learning, the conference meetings I attend, the Career Center opportunities that are available for me to practice interviewing and review writing, and understanding the slew of financial news data by getting engaged on the Yahoo Finance app. The future is not certain, but our present is a gift for us to make what will of what we have.

  10. I must preface this response with the fact that I am a self-proclaimed personal development nerd; I’ve spent hours listening to podcasts, watching TedTalks, and reading self-improvement books in an effort to become the best version of myself that I can be. In the moments immediately after listening to a powerful speech or reading about a new concept, I am fueled with inspiration and motivation to take action on my personal journey. The problem I have faced time and time again, though, has been my reluctance to actually implement the changes into my life– but why? For fear of change? Of failure? I cannot say, exactly. I acknowledge that this crux is contributing to a stagnancy in my personal development, and for this reason I would like to change.

    The phrase, “the time we spend comes back, with interest,” presents an important concept, the idea that we can reap the benefits of the actions we take now. In a financial context, interest earned on money deposited in a savings account is an additional future payment on the money that has previously been deposited. Replace money with time, savings accounts with personal growth, and change the context of the sentence, and the phase looks something like this: Interest earned on the time spent learning and educating ourselves manifests in our personal growth and the development of new skills. I appreciate that Seth’s Blog brought up the opposite scenario as well, asserting that “If you spend a little bit more time each day whining or feeling ashamed, that behavior will become part of you.” I often see my peers succumb to this cycle of feeling bad for themselves, choosing not to do any work because of this feeling, and then feeling bad about the fact that they haven’t gotten anything done. The key to breaking this cycle relies on action– motion that starts the process and inertia that propels the process forward. As the article states, “A small thing, repeated, is not a small thing.” Sometimes the goal may seem too large and the outcome an impossible feat, but with continued action (even a small one) and perseverance, the task becomes manageable. It is simply too easy to sit around and remain complicit in our abilities; the first action may be the most difficult, but our knowledge, development, and growth profits as a result.

    I am happy to say that I am not the same person I was five years ago; my time in college has opened my eyes to so many things greater than myself. I have a greater appreciation for the relationships I hold and how my actions affect those around me. I have spent the past five years crafting a better, more self aware version of Athena. The strides made in my personal development have not come on their own and have required me to push past self-made limits and external obstacles; admittedly so, these obstacles have presented me with uncomfortable feelings and struggles, but in the refusal to succumb to these struggles I have learned so much more. As I grow older (and wiser, it seems), continuous improvement and the cognizance of how my current actions affect my future weigh heavily on me– I cannot remain stagnant. It is my responsibility to myself to continue to challenge myself to craft another “better” Athena, and I cannot wait to see what progress I can make in the next five years.

  11. Seth has yet failed to amaze me with his blogs. This blog takes an interesting look on who one is, and who they will be. I agree with when Seth said “we get what we invest in. The time we spend comes back, with interest.” This has been shown many times throughout my life. In all honesty I do not know who I am seeking to become, and I get stressed out and upset when I think about the future. It is hard to figure out who/what I want to become when I barley know myself. So far it has been a long journey to figure out who I am, and I hope I one day figure it out. The only thing I love as of now is my family and friends. I have tried many different activities, clubs, even jobs, but yet I still could not find my passion. I have fallen down deep, and almost never got back up. The times when I am up, I am artificial. Taking four pills at least every morning, I do not feel like myself. I have wanted to distance my self from my medication, but I struggle without them. Although that is not a problem for me (because I have learned more through struggling and overcoming adversity than anything else) it is for my parents. That is because without my medication I was very down, but no one could tell. Without my medication I was failing school, but people thought I was not trying hard enough. But I was, and that was me. That is why I struggle with who I am going to become. In the end my parents are the reason I am still on this earth, they pulled me from a hole that I thought I was stuck in. They believed in me and worked with me through my problems and taught me that as long as I try my hardest and never give up, that they will always love and support me. Although I do not know who I am going to become, I do know that no matter what I will work my hardest and be great because I owe it to them and even myself.

  12. Seth states, “The difference between who you are now and who you were five years ago is largely due to how you’ve spent your time along the way.” This made me think of what Suli Breaks once stated, “They say if you truly want to know yourself, look at your five closest friends. Because you are a reflection of the people you spend most of your time with. Whether you like it or not like them or not. Friends can two things either push us forward or pull us back.” This is something I think about almost every day and try to use to my advantage. This is because you get to choose who your fiends are and who the people in your “circle” are. So this means you get to choose if your friend is someone who strives for good things and wants to help you better your self or you can choose someone who is a moocher and just wants to live off your success. But before you can do any of this you must find out who you are, and this is a journey that for most never ends but is certainly something worth striving to attain. You must put in the type of energy and vibes that you want to get out of your life. Doubting yourself and being negative will only create negative results. Tell yourself that you can do it. Tell yourself that you will do it. And then eventually you will be saying that you did it. Personally, I can say that I am not the same person I was five years ago because I was able to grow, mature and really try to do different things to figure out how I wanted my life to go and what to do with it. Whether it’s having a family that supports you, getting your dream job that you always wanted or just genuinely becoming a better person, never doubt yourself, and you will succeed because like Wayne Gretzky said, ” You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

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