Lately I’ve been going through a change of heart. They say that it doesn’t matter if you win or lose, but only that you tried. I don’t believe this anymore.
I don’t want the doctor to just “try” and heal me from a life-threatening illness, I need the doctor to succeed! My bank will not accept that I “tried” to pay my credit card bills, my payments must be timely received or else my credit score gets affected. For these types of cases, simply having the intention will not make up for the failure to deliver.
This line of reasoning is making me think more results-oriented and focus more on the bottom line. It also got me to ask myself a more fundamental question: is it who you are or what you do that really matters?
Action Speaks Louder Than Words
Let me clarify my belief on trying - it’s definitely important to try. Success can only happen as a result from trying. I just think that winning should not be completely devalued. I believe that intent manifests into action, and action leads to success. The right intention doesn’t always produce the right action, and also, the right action doesn’t always produce success. However, if you repeat the right actions over time you will eventually achieve success. Likewise, your accomplishments over time will ultimately reveal your character. This statement is important - who you are will ultimately be revealed by your achievements. Do you know anyone that thinks they’re a nice person but their actions show they’re not so nice?
Can You Believe the Facade?
What about the people that do things for show? The ones that don’t act with sincerity but instead for the sake of their public image? A good example are the politicians that visit soup kitchens and inform reporters well ahead of time to maximize the PR opportunity. If one is conniving enough, one can effectively shape their public image, which may not necessarily be consistent with their true self.
Ask the Right Question
As I asked myself these questions, I came to the conclusion that I was not asking the right questions. There are two questions here. First, is who you are or what you do that matters with respect to public perception? Second, what is the answer with respect to the Truth? Sometimes the Truth can be openly seen and the public perception is the same, but in many instances they are not.
You can choose which question is most important for yourself, but I chose to answer the question with respect to the Truth. In my humble opinion, intent leads to action which then leads to achievements. Over time, if I honestly assess my achievements and they’re not consistent with my beliefs, then I was delusional and I am not who I thought I was. Others may or may not see all that I’ve done, but I would know and that’s how I keep myself accountable.
Can You Judge a Story Before It’s Over?
I also believe that the record must be long enough to make a good judgment. Looking at a small snapshot can be misleading. In fact, I don’t even consider looking at my life history to be sufficient to judge me. I’m not done yet! My story is still being written - you can’t judge a book before you finish reading the ending. Likewise, there are many stories going on with me now, and even more that I have not yet started, which brings me back to full circle. Who I am might already be defined, but I also care about who I want to be. My beliefs, values, and goals will continually manifest itself into actions and achievements, and if I continue to act with integrity, then who I will be will become consistent with who I want to be.