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Act As If

February 4, 2007

It’s too bad I’m not more confident. It’s too bad I’m not smarter. It’s too bad I’m not more disciplined. But you know what? Sometimes my conscious choice is to act is if i am that thing. I usually discover that I have more of that quality than I gave myself credit for. And sometimes there really isn’t much difference between acting X and being X.

I am who I say I am. Or, more accurately, I am what I do. To make myself into the kind of person I want to be, I simply do the things that such a person would do.

Props to Steve Pavlina via lifehacker for the reminder.

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  1. I took a management seminar once from IBM where they shared the results of a study. A bunch of middle managers and office workers were asked questions to determine if they thought they had the authority to do X (“X” varied). Then they asked the bosses of those people if the people had the authority.

    The result: the bosses overwhelmingly agreed that their subordinates had more authority than the subordinates believed.

    From that I drew this lesson: if you’re not sure whether you have the authority to do something, you do have that authority. If you know you don’t have the authority, then you don’t—but in the uncertain case, the evidence is that you do have the authority.


  2. Or, as my friend, Charlie, used to say, “It’s always easier to beg forgiveness than it is to ask permission.”



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