There are times when I aspire to be my most accomplished self. My most intelligent, my most resilient, my most beautiful… Through the habit of daydreaming which I've cultivated over the years, I have managed to create a complete picture of the person I aspire to be and the lifestyle I would like to embrace. In fact, I have come up with two personas that I often idealise about, both of them as the better versions of myself, but at different lifestages.
The beauty of creating an idealised self in your mind, is that it not only gives you something to strive towards, but also, it can keep you going through the dull and the tedious. My idealised self epitomises all the strengths and skills that I long to possess in my current existence and therefore it provides a greater purpose to my work and life. I invoke my glorious self whenever I feel overcome by drudgery, when I am too tired to keep working, too drained to keep running, too exhausted to learn to play the piano or speak French or too disengaged to do any of these activities, even through my conscience avidly dictates them. So, when my present self steps into a trance where is bored, unproductive, easily tempted, distracted and impulsive, my idealised self emerges motivated, strong, resilient, passionate and successful in the undertaking.
Whenever I find myself struggling in a labour-intensive situation that I just can’t see through to the end, I turn to my ideal self for gaining that resilience I need to keep going. I imagine how my idealised self would act in that circumstance, how she would carry on with the strenuous demands of the tedious activity, and then I embrace that role. Act the way you want to feel is what happiness gurus recommend us and a bleak situation is a perfect opportunity to do so. Embracing the role of the idealised self will make you feel empowered to get through the hard times that a work-related or personal challenge might bring. It also helps to distance yourself from the situation and, therefore, act more rationally, benefiting from the emotional detachment that stepping into another persona brings.
I encourage you to try and adopt this dual-personality (dis)order, as potentially the most powerful coping mechanism, as it’s driven from within you. After all, anyone has the ability to reflect daydream, idealise and, in this way, construct the life they wish for (even if, only in their minds).