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This International Women’s Day, Let’s Figure Out How to Achieve That La Dolce Vita We All Dream Of?

This International Women’s Day, Let’s Figure Out How to Achieve That La Dolce Vita We All Dream Of?

  • Think of a Noun, and stick with it. Act like it. Run with it. Then, you become it. Finally, even, flaunt it.

A couple of years ago, when Women’s Day was around the corner, my mind was obsessed with the concept of how we women, look at ourselves or think of what we ought to be.

We all know that “identity capital” is our individual collection of experiences and resources that we assemble over time. It is the investment we make in ourselves and it becomes part of who we are.

This is true for both men and women, but am just addressing women more because I strongly feel that we have a harder time finding ourselves, due to our multitasking abilities. 

All through our 20s and 30s unconsciously we all have been building up this capital, with the good, bad and the naff of course. Life takes its own path and we do not have the time or the energy to process much on this factor. Women especially have busy careers, homes, taking care of kids, community, etc.

We are well wary of the great rut of life.

At some point though, when we stop in our tracks, we do have moments when we are proud of what we have accomplished, some not-so-great ones, and a few that we want to delete/trash out of our past. 

Now, starting afresh, what should we do?

How do we go about creating new identities that we can consciously be proud of? And, finally, achieve that La Dolce Vita that we all can dream of? Or be, even a bit less ambitious than that.

Let us start talking Nouns and Verbs.

Our whole life is devoted to doing things, which is simply put, “Verbs.” When we work in an office, we do have fancy titles, but if you look closely, they are all fungible and are not very unique. We think they are important, but, in reality, you are as replaceable and dispensable as the next coffee machine. Ask anyone who got fired recently and they will wholeheartedly agree.

Working at home and doing anything like parenting, being a caregiver, socially active or anything we do becomes a monotony too at some point in time. 

Now’s the time to hit the Pause button.

Think about what you want to do with your life, think aspirational. Bigger purpose, Ikigai lines. It could be anything. From being an entrepreneur, or learn yoga, or wanting to teach somewhere? Or learn a new sport, maybe become a writer, run a marathon, or be a social volunteer.

Now that you have some idea of what you want to become, the how’s come in. Am going to share some tips from James Clear, the author of a best-seller, “Atomic Habits” who makes a good argument for “identity-based goals”.

He shows evidence that for us to truly care about building a desire into a truly ingrained habit, we need to absorb it into who we are.

I’m just going to quote from the book directly so that the message doesn’t get lost in the translation. So, here goes the spark notes for you.

See Also

The first layer is changing your outcomes. This level is concerned with changing your results: losing weight, publishing a book, winning a championship. Most of the goals you set are associated with this level of change.

The second layer is changing your process. This level is concerned with changing your habits and systems: implementing a new routine at the gym, decluttering your desk for better workflow, developing a meditation practice. Most of the habits you build are associated with this level.

The third and deepest layer is changing your identity. This level is concerned with changing your beliefs: your worldview, your self-image, your judgments about yourself and others. Most of the beliefs, assumptions, and biases you hold are associated with this level.

Now, here is my final thought. Once you start these habits and make it a routine, call yourselves with the new identity — a writer, an artist, a social worker, etc. Think of a Noun, and stick with it. Act like it. Run with it. Then, you become it. Finally, even, flaunt it.

Personally, this is my new identity, based on what I’ve worked and implemented so far. It is still a work in progress, hope to have more identity tags added in the future. 

“Mom. Writer. Social volunteer. Culture traveler. Minimalist. Political Enthusiast.”

Jayashree Srikanth lived in the United States for 16 years, then moved to Bangalore with her husband and two daughters. She is a proud homeschooler of a special needs kid, who has a successful art career now and has won several awards including carrying the torch for the Rio Paralympics, in 2015. Her younger daughter is studying Neuroscience and Psychology at UCLA. Social work, writing, and traveling are her passionate hobbies.

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