Design Your Aspirational Identity

Every aspiration is about self-transformation: becoming a new person and living a new life. We need self-discipline because we want to achieve a goal, get somewhere, stop a bad habit, transform ourselves, live better. In other words, we want a new identity; we want to live a better version of ourselves. 

We can call this “your best self”, “your ideal self”, or “your aspirational identity”. It is the person you want to become; the why behind your goals. It is where you will arrive, once you fulfill your aspirations to a certain degree—your designed life. In a way, then, your aspirational identity is both the result of your aspirations, as well as their driving force.

This concept of aspirational identity is key to Mindful Self-Discipline. It helps you clarify who you want to become, and then find the true aspirations that are a natural expression of that end state. The concept is simple: you decide who you want to be, then see the gaps that need to be covered to get there. The drive to fill these gaps is your aspiration(s).

  1. Review the insights gained from values exercise in the book.
  2. See what patterns emerge. Ask yourself, “What are all these things really about? If I actualize these values, fulfill the deepest why behind my goals, and come close to that which inspires me in my role models, who will I become?”
  3. Describe your aspirational identity to yourself: 
    1. What do you feel? 
    2. What does a typical day of your life look like? 
    3. What will people admire in you and know you for?
  4. Now look at your current identity. Identify three areas where there is a gap between who you are now and you who want to become. For example: “In my aspirational identity I have mastered singing, I’m well known for my work, and I make a living from it.” 
  5. In each of those gaps is one true aspiration—in this case, “to master singing”.

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