Personal Evolution: Who Can You Be Tomorrow?

2014-01-24 15.27.44The amazing capacity to be different tomorrow than we are today is inside each of us. Change is often thought of as something bad to something good.

Change is also something good to something better.

From graduate school through careers of counseling and coaching, I find the wonder of change in human behavior is not a miracle, but purely a choice – stop doing A and start doing B.

I observe good leaders become great leaders doing just that. And never mind the individuals who astonished themselves (and often me!) by one day taking an untried path leading to amazing success and gratification.

Do you think about how you can live differently tomorrow than you do today?

Matthew McConaughey does. McConaughey, 44, is a collector and creator of aphorisms – from bumper stickers, truths and rhymes. His favorite is “Just Keep Livin.”

The line belongs to Wooderson, the long-graduated Lothario he played in 1993’s Dazed and Confused and it’s become a motto for McConaughey, inspiring the names of both his foundation J.K. Livin and his clothing line,(JKL) whose tagline is yet another McConaugheyism, “Find your Frequency.”

Matthew McConaughey, collector and creator of bits of wisdom. He has 821 of them.
Matthew McConaughey, collector and creator of bits of wisdom. He has 821 of them.

McConaughey often takes a step back and checks in on his livin’.

“How we doin, McConaughey?” he’ll ask. “How’s your health? How’s your family? Are you the man that you want to be?” Personal evolution is a big concern for McConaughey. “As you get older, you’re supposed to get better,” he explains. “There should be an ascension.”

The keep climbing slogan makes good imagery. But what if you’re already on the mountain top? You’re the best? You’ve found the top of your game?

Samsung’s CEO, Lee Kun-hee, the man who built the most successful, most admired and most feared business in Asia – a $288 billion behemoth that is among the most profitable in the world – has a message for his employees this year: “You must do better.”

At other companies, congratulations might be in order especially since Samsung has left most rivals eating its silicon dust and is headed toward another extraordinary year.

Instead, this CEO urges employees to think anew and raise the bar.

“As we move forward, we must resist complacency and thoughts of being good enough, as these will prevent us from becoming better,” Mr. Lee, who is 71, wrote. “We must start anew to reach loftier goals and ideals.”

"And at the end of your life, all the things you thought were periods, they turn out to be commas."   - Matthew McConaughey
“And at the end of your life, all the things you thought were periods, they turn out to be commas.”
– Matthew McConaughey

 Where does personal evolution begin?

Somewhere inside the commas of your life are chances to take and opportunities to explore.

Resist complacency. Start doing B. Find a grander frequency. Start anew.

All are truisms for personal evolution.

The starting point is – “How’s your livin’?”


About Barbara Pagano

Barbara Pagano,Ed.S., author and speaker, influenced over 3,500 executives in organizations to achieve higher performance. She is now on a mission to help individuals extend their career arcs and craft lifestyles of productive longevity.
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