As today is Sunday, it seems the ideal day to share something that concerns not just looking you best, but feeling it and acting it. And sometimes acting your best means you need to start play-acting it until you actually get there.
Last month I announced that anyone out there struggling with the challenges of life can reach out to me and I’ll try and offer advice. About a half-dozen men have emailed, but far more — mostly older men — took a moment to let me know how much they appreciated the gesture. Life unfolds based upon what you’re focused on and preoccupied with, and I’m finding that the men I’ve been meeting recently are making a priority to help boys and young men, as well as put a fresh shine on their own selves.
And so I’d like to share the first of my journalistic efforts to help you polish up your life. On Tuesday I published a feature called “The Science Behind Fake It Till You Make It” at the new Life section of Real Clear Politics. The story was well trafficked, and my editor immediately greenlighted another story, which I think you guys will enjoy even more.
In the meantime, what do I mean by faking it? Well, in order to develop into the person you want to become, you sometimes have to self-generate experiences in order to get those brain neurons firing and bonding in order to integrate new traits into your character. In psychology, it’s called acting “as if,” and roughly corresponds to the colloquial expression about “faking it.”
Here’s a snippet:
The cliché “fake it till you make it” sounds like the celebration of phoniness and cold ambition. But there’s a kernel of age-old truth inside the shallow-sounding shell. Two thousand years ago, Aristotle said that in order to be virtuous, one must act the way a virtuous person would act. Around the same time, Confucius opined, “Although the gentleman may not have attained goodness, he acts in such a way so that he might become good.”
Whether you dream of becoming a stand-up comic or leaving the confines of your cubicle and starting your own business, you might find some helpful ideas in the article, for which I interviewed one psychologist and two life coaches. And I think I’ll add a new post category for things like this. To borrow a phrase from Japanese style magazines, how about “Level Up”?
The image, in case you don’t recognize it, is taken from the ’80s prepsploitation movie “Making The Grade.” The entire movie has been uploaded to YouTube. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD