We Are What We Repeatedly Do
There’s an insight from Aristotle, one of the most profound Greek Philosophers in history, that has become a fundamental philosophy for me. Aristotle is quoted saying “We are what we repeatedly do.”
When it comes to our ambitions, aspirations, and visions for a better life, we think about the person we need to become to achieve it. We focus a lot on who our best self is, their values, qualities, character traits, and mindsets. Our goal is to bridge the gaps between who we are and who we want to be. Aristotle gives us a mechanism for this - If you want to change who you are, you need to change what you do. “We are what we repeatedly do.”
I’ve studied this concept in depth and have discovered something that I call the identity behavior feedback loop. Basically our identity is who we are, and our behavior is what we do. In this Identity Behavior feedback, your identity influences on a subconscious level what you do. That’s why you take action so often on autopilot, or self-sabotage without even knowing it. This happens subconsciously. Your behavior then acts as a feedback loop and validates who you believe yourself to be. Your behavior is the evidence that your subconscious mind uses to figure out who you are.
The identity behavior feedback loop is a central part to what I call the Subconscious Transformation Process, which is the single greatest opportunity you have for changing your beliefs, habits, and mindset. I don’t have the time to explain it here but if you want me to explain the Subconscious Transformation Process to you in depth you can click here to access an 11 minute video I made about it!
Beyond what I’ve already shared, Aristotle goes on to confirm this idea in the rest of the quote. He says “Excellence therefore is not an act, but a habit.” This gives us an incredible amount of power to choose who we want to be. If you want to be excellent, you think about what “excellent” people do and start doing it on a daily basis. If you want to be someone who is responsible with their finances, you start doing the things a person like that would do. If you want to be someone who prioritizes their health, you start meal prepping, or exercising consistently, or doing the things that you know healthy people do. It’s that simple.
It’s all about starting with the end in mind and building up toward that identity with supportive habits and behaviors. Again, I show you how all of this works in a whiteboard video session if you want to really start understanding the forces of your own psychology at a higher level.