There’s a quote in Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut that says;
“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
The first time I heard it, it struck me as a very powerful concept. Two very powerful concepts in fact, contained in the two halves of the quote.
Firstly, we are what we pretend to be.
This opened my mind to the amount of influence we have in creating our own future. In shaping our lives as we experience them, as we want to experience them. In becoming the type of person we want to be.
Just by deciding to behave in a certain way, to think in a certain way, to do certain things, we can drastically change the type of person we are and the way we see the world.
It is just as important for our own self-identity as it is for how others perceive us. The more we do it, the easier it becomes until eventually it just seems natural.
For better or for worse.
And that’s where the second part comes in.
Every experience we have in life is a product of our own volition.
Everything that happens to us is a result of the way we behave. Even if we’re only pretending. What other people see becomes our reputation. And what we believe about ourselves becomes who we are.
Careful what you believe.