Years ago, Green Giant sweetcorn ran an ad showing two young boys eating their dinner. One boy says to his friend, ‘my mum says you are what you eat’.
His friend asks, ‘So if you eat a French fry, you’ll become French? And if you eat a runner bean, you’ll become a runner?’ Then, pointing quizzically at the yellow vegetable on his plate, ‘And if you eat … what’s this?’
‘Green Giant sweetcorn’ answers the mum.
‘Green Giant!’ gasp the boys in amazement before tucking in. I’m not sure what was so appealing about becoming a green giant: perhaps they were thinking of auditioning for Shrek!
Aristotle has a different take on things. Rather than ‘we are what we eat’, he suggested:
‘We are what we repeatedly do.’
That gets me thinking. If I’m becoming what I repeatedly do, I want to be more aware of what it is I’m doing. I don’t want to be swept along by events: I want to influence who I am becoming. I want to make conscious decisions about what it is that I do each day.
How about you? What are you doing today that contributes to who you want to become? Assuming the runner bean trick doesn’t work and you do want to be a runner, are you scheduling in time to run several times a week? If you dream of working for yourself, how does what you’re doing today contribute to that? If a seat on the board is your goal, how do you prepare for that?
Perhaps the first step is to become aware of what we are repeatedly doing. What would it be like to record everything you do each day for a week and then review it? What would you notice?
Today’s pebble for you to consider:
If we are what we repeatedly do, who are you becoming?
I’d love to know what you think,
Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.
If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, why not email me to see how we could work together?