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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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79 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Build Bridges Between Aspiration and Realization”

  1. bravegirl says:

    Excellent post, Brian. You perfectly articulate the notion that an individual can be anything they'd like to be. Great high level checklist for accomplishing exactly that. And that GBS quote is so inspirational.

  2. Steve Gorges says:

    Nicely done.

  3. denisewbarreto says:

    Love this – will be tweeting to the high heavens.

  4. leandajaneguy says:

    How inspiring! Am rubbish at finding anything let alone myself (exhausting) however creating myself….daily…thank u! As for the difference between who I am and who I want to be is separated only by my actions and words so….. you've given me the courage to act! Please can you check out my new social media platform! If facebook is about your friends, LinkedIn about work, Twitter about now then is all about your favourite – things, people, places. We are still a beta site and lots of work imminent to improve but would be thrilled if you'd take a look!
    Hope you don't mind me asking but acting on advice from a legend! 🙂 Have a great weekend. Hope to share favourites soon….Link to what you love. Anywhere in the world on

  5. This is super, Brian! Your quotable quote will be filed in my mind together with W. Clement Stone's famous, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

  6. bkjrecruiter says:

    Brian- Great post, ENERGY flows, where ATTENTION goes… Simple concepts, BUT you need to be a rockstar like your self to stay connected to the “source”, and that is where “magic” lies… Best, Brian-

  7. Will Foster says:

    Thank you Brother! I Posted this on Facebook as a “must read”

  8. Amy says:

    I tweeted this out! A must read. Love reading your articles. 🙂

  9. moiselevi says:

    Great post, agree with you 100% on Hugh MacLeod, been reading him for years

  10. mattloonam says:

    This is exactly what I needed to read on Sunday! Thanks

  11. Mack says:

    Great post and gives more chance to look for yourself…we seems so busy in our working life and we forgot to think about ourself

  12. Steve says:

    Thank you Brian. Very inspiring. Great way to start my working day.

  13. Jane Mark says:

    Sokule is a social media advertising site that enables members to instantly post to Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and 30 other top social media sites via simple 1-click technology and ping the weblogs at the same time. It looks and feels like Twitter but that's where the similarity ends. It does much more, like longer posts, article length posts, live links on users postit page, ability to add videos and image ads, retweet and resqueek messages, schedule posts, direct message all followers, Keyword Alert, and more…  Our mantra is Post, Ping, Profit and our goal is to give members simple, effective, wide exposure for their businesses using state-of-the-art technology.

  14. This post is really good. Finding out who you are will lead you to know what you really want to be and what you want to achieve. And yes, you need to do something to get it. You need efforts and actions for accomplishing your goals and dream. And the will and determination is a must for getting what you really want in your life.

  15. Kyle Lacy says:

    From the time we are preteens its seems as though we are in a constant state of questioning ourselves and our futures. It's so true that we make who we are. Yes, our surroundings, families and other external circumstances help shape us. However, our actions are what define us. If you want to be something then you must GO seek it. Who you are is defined by what you do. Actions always speak louder than words.

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