I believe in the principle that you ought to act “as if” you were the person you would like to become. As you do that, you will grow into that kind of person. Ultimately your very actions, your attitude, will lead you into being the kind of person that you want to be.
— Elder M. Russell Ballard
Did you ever play make-believe when you were little? I did. My daughter was an expert. One time when she was two we were getting ready to leave my mom’s house, and we kept calling to her. She wouldn’t respond. She was standing nearby with one foot up on a rock, looking around intently. We couldn’t figure out what was going on, until one of us thought to ask “who are you?” She was John Smith. So we packed John Smith into the car and took her home with us.
Make-believe can be fun. But it can also be a really powerful tool for reaching your goals.
The Power of Pretending
You can use pretending to make our goals a little easier. I don’t mean that you should answer to “Mom” anymore (although it might be a little tempting sometimes). Think of someone that you admire, or find an attribute that you would love to have. Pretend today that you are like that. Make your everyday activities more interesting and fun this way.
If you have a really good imagination, you can pretend to be a favorite character or person. Try to think like they would as you go about your day. You may feel a little silly, but no one else has to know. You may find a different way to look at the things you do that will inspire and enlighten you.
A Few of My Favorites
Don’t feel like taking a walk? Maybe you’re Lizzy (from Pride and Prejudice) who takes great pleasure in walking. Find a pretty path or park, and imagine it from the perspective of someone who loves the flowers, trees, and feel of the sun or wind on her face. The pleasure of each day is your chance to be in the beauty of nature (and Mr. Darcy just might find your eyes brightened by the exercise).
Are you getting cranky? Maybe you should be Pollyanna this morning, playing her glad game. Find something about ANYTHING to be glad about. You can be glad that at least you have a washing machine and you’re not beside the stream, trying to rinse your clothes clean in the murky water! How wonderful to have a grateful and happy heart!
Planning and preparing healthy, delicious meals is a pleasure for a famous chef with an enormous kitchen garden. Arranging plates to beautiful perfection, and incorporating fresh vegetables and herbs from the garden results in culinary masterpieces.
Happily, my family is also really great at pretending that dinner has been prepared by a famous chef. Best. Family. Ever.
The truth is, sometimes working toward our goals can become tedious. Healthy changes aren’t always very exciting, and it’s easy to get tired and just give in, or give up entirely.
Introducing a playful, fun way of reaching for your goals could just be the spark you need to inspire you, and help you persist!