This is part of the DadQuotes series, where I roundup the best quotes from famous figures, insightful authors, and my curious kids, and apply them to the job of parenting.
When I got home from the gym, my son greeted me with an inquiry:
“Why do you go to the gym?” he asked. “Do you think you’re fat?”
I started to answer by pointing out misconceptions in his question: the idea that you’re either fat or not, or that exercise is about weight control.
Then I saw a more important lesson: nothing stays the same. It’s not about being or not being, it’s about becoming.
I don’t exercise because I think I’m fat, but I know that if I stop exercising, my aging body won’t be too forgiving for long.
It reminded me of a quote by James Clear in his insanely-best-selling book, Atomic Habits:
“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become. No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your new identity.”—James Clear, Atomic Habits
I’m not trying to build a new identity, but I am trying to maintain an existing one (that of someone who’s in shape) by maintaining a habit of exercising.
By taking action, I’m casting a vote for the type person I want to be. Not just now, but in the future.
Do your actions cast votes for the person you want to become?
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