The Precipice

Tilda Swinton:

I wouldn’t go on performing were it not for this interest in unpicking or examining how it is that we lumber ourselves with the idea that we have one identity, and we have to carry it, and we cannot change it or modify it in any way until we die.

And that both moves me and saddens me; that society has somehow hoodwinked us into thinking that this is the case. Because as far as I’m concerned, identity is a sort of … I’m not sure I believe identity exists. I think the only thing we can really rely on is change, and our sense of ourselves is completely amorphous.

And so, when, if I’m talking about a narrative, and I look back at my work, very often I’m looking at the story of someone who reaches what I call a precipice in their life. When they have to encounter their sense of identity, and they have to shift. Or, they have a choice about whether to shift or whether to perish in some way.

Loading Likes...

Your New Identity

Steve Kamb on developing grit and stepping into a new identity:

Identify the new “identity” you want to have. The more specific you can be with it, the easier it’ll be to prove it to yourself. “I’m the type of person that never misses a workout.” “I’m somebody who eats a healthy lunch every day.” “I’m somebody who works on my side business every dang day.” Remind yourself of this EVERY day by hanging up a post-it note on your bathroom window, or using your phone/calendar to keep this at the front of your mind.

James Clear:

The key to building lasting habits is focusing on creating a new identity first. Your current behaviors are simply a reflection of your current identity.

To change your behavior for good, you need to start believing new things about yourself. You need to build identity-based habits.


1. Decide the type of person you want to be.

2. Prove it to yourself with small wins.

Loading Likes...

Habits & Identity

James Clear on the effect that habits have on your self-image:

Your habits are the way that you embody a particular identity. So, every morning that you make your bed, you embody the identity of an organized person. Every time you go to the gym, you embody the identity of someone who’s fit. Every time you sit down to write, you embody the identity of someone who’s a writer.

Every action you take is kind of like a vote for the type of person that you believe that you are. As you take these actions, you build up evidence of a particular identity, and pretty soon your beliefs have something to root themselves in. It’s like, “Man, I showed up at the gym for 4 days a week for the last three months; I guess I’m the type of person who doesn’t miss workouts” — and that I think is the true reason why habits are so important.

Once I realized how beliefs and behaviors are connected, that it’s this two-way street… then I started to think that this is really something. Not only does it deliver those external results — the clean room, or the bigger bank account — but also the internal results of shaping your sense of self-image and what you believe.

Source: Rich Roll podcast, episode 401

Loading Likes...