Young warrior, Zach Friedman valiantly stands upon the highest rock of an impressive mountain. 
Photo: Forest Pollard

Most people aren’t happy when they look in the mirror. If you’re one of those people then you MUST make a change. How does one change? Simple, create a new self-image. Change how you perceive yourself. Trying to change one’s behavior before one’s identity, guarantees failure. Change your identity, and then your actions and behavior will follow suit. To develop a new self-image, one must rework how they perceive themselves. Whether one means to or not if you don’t study you will see yourself as a bad student and if you don’t work out you will see yourself as lazy. So be intentional with every action to create this new identity. Intentionally implant a new self-image into the mind. Imagine giving a pep talk to someone who isn’t motivated. You might tell them they’re a hard worker and remind them of how strong of a person they are. Now give that pep-talk to yourself and don’t be afraid to lie a little by blending in parts of your desired self-image that you’ve yet to attain as already existing truths. Say, I’m a hard worker. Say, I’m disciplined. Say, I’m a straight-A student because even if you aren’t any of those things, by telling yourself you are, you’ll naturally form into the mold you’ve created for yourself. Sophomore Roan Dutta noted, “When I committed to my new identity, I became a better version of myself.” The world is dyed by the color of your thoughts, so don’t dye it with self-hurt. Pump yourself up, tell yourself that you’re disciplined and then you’ll act on that new identity. You can’t change your behavior without changing your self-image, so change your identity, and become the person you strive to be. Sophomore Jack Lynch responded to criticism saying, “I’m not going to change myself for anyone.” Of course, you shouldn’t change who you are for others, but it’s important to change for yourself! Ancient stoic philosopher Musonius Rufus said, “If you accomplish something good with hard work, the labor passes quickly, but the good endures; if you do something shameful in the pursuit of pleasure, the pleasure passes quickly, and the shame endures.” Act in a manner that your future self will look back at with gratitude and you will have guaranteed yourself a path of success.

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