Quick Summary

Often, when we talk about adopting and developing skills, we think of math, spelling, riding a bike, learning a foreign language. But the transformation in areas like dating, thriving in marriage, writing a book, starting a business, requires a different type of change, a different type than knowing nine times nine, or remembering a formula.

Transformation is a radical shift at the identity level. At the identity level, you're not dealing with what you do, but with who you are. It's an ontological shift at the level of your being.

Identity involves many pieces. Your identity is laid over a scaffolding. The scaffolding of identity is all the cherished core beliefs that you hold true, that govern your worldview, what you think is right and wrong, your ethical models. It also involves your values, which is how you prioritize spending your time and your energy, in particular where you put your attention, for how long, and why. It's also the environment you surround yourself with. That means your circle of friends, but also the books you read, the situations you put yourself in.

All of these are the foundational structures that your identity hangs on and your being emerges out of. But all of these can be subsumed in thinking about what is the North Star, or the orienting principle, that is pulling your life in a particular direction. It is like a strange attractor from a future state that you vision and dream, it’s a teleological imperative that pulls you in a particular direction.

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