Build Bridges Between Aspiration and Realization

Hugh MacLeod is not only a friend, but also someone whose work I admire, follow, and respect. When he asked me to contribute a post for his evocative “Remember Who You Are” series, I responded posthaste.

Throughout life, we’re introduced to so many important lessons and proverbs and most of the time, we’ll listen, but not really hear and embrace their message and purpose. Every now and then however, we’re introduced to something so profound that it changes our outlook and redirects our current course, rewriting our future with every step we take forward.

It’s not because the words or wisdom is any more or less sincere, emancipating, or eye-opening over the thousands of insights we’ve encountered over time. At particular intervals in our everyday experiences, truly hearing and embracing insight, logic and hope will pervade our lives. But, to truly change and inspire is, timing and relevance become paramount. While words and their meaning are important, our attention aperture and guiding intuition are only open to that which relates to use contextually, at a time when we’re consciously or subconsciously seeking guidance based on our current experiences. While life may not revolve around us, we are at the center of our personal experiences and as such, the aftereffect of the people and information that crosses our path is governed by our state of mind, emotion, and aspiration.

In order for something to truly resonate within and as such reverberate throughout our ensuing actions, we must be open and more importantly predisposed to change. And if you think about it, it’s a rare occurrence indeed.

Several years ago, I was re-introduced to a famous quote. While I had long forgotten the words, I believe that they had subconsciously inspired me. I was much younger when they initially tested my awareness. For me, and of course, similar to almost everything I learn, it took several appearances to permeate the thinning filters of my attention and focus, ultimately earning permanent residence in my mind and heart. And consequently, it now serves us my guiding mantra for all that I do today.

“Life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.”
- George Bernard Shaw

Hugh’s maxim, “Remember who you are…” aligns with Shaw’s words and the piercing moral within each message, is the aide-mémoire of the experiences that moved and inspired us over the years and the hopes that each engendered. They define who we are and they’re the catalysts that trigger new opportunities and experiences.

It’s the remembrance and the application to who we are that becomes poignant. Remembering who you are serves as a history lesson as the state of “you” is the result of your past finding its place in the present. It is the future that is not yet written and without aspiration, ambition has nothing to fuel.

Understanding how we got to this place at this time is predicated by our actions as they were influenced by the events that touched us. Ergo, our aspiration is a deliberate state of intention and the distance defining our journey is measured by the actions that move hope and vision toward existence and propelled by conscious activity and purpose. It’s the difference between dreaming…and bringing dreams to life.

Lessons are the scenery that surrounds our journey and this is a trip best appreciated with eyes, minds, and hearts, wide open.

The distance between who I am and who I want to be...

A good friend introduced me to the concept of Be, Do, Get…and I’ve since woven these words and the governing methodology into the hallmark of all that inspires me. The ideas and lessons that emerge through the discovery of answering the following questions serve as the everlasting sense of renewal for my personal mission and purpose.

What do I want to be now and in the future?


How will I get there?

What’s working against me right now?

What challenges face me today and tomorrow?

How will I know when I get there and what is the reward for reaching my destination?

What is the opportunity cost of these ambitions over others?

Once I discover and confirm who I want to be…I then do the things…that ultimately empower me to get to where I envisioned. The entire sequence is connected through discovery and action.

Again, life isn’t as much about finding yourself as it is creating yourself.

I believe that the distance between who I am and who I want to be is separated only by my actions and words. And defining who I want to be should remain in a perpetual state of aspiration rewarded through accomplishments and milestones intentionally introduced to transform the illusion of progress to a constant state of realization.

Remember who you are…

Please consider reading my new book, Engage!

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Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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