Going into the 2020 Presidential election there was a tremendous amount of awareness on the importance of getting out to vote. Ranging from the history of voter suppression, differences in how to vote in each state, to wanting change for America fueled the fire for the discussion of ensuring everyone gets out there and votes. 2020 was one of the most polarizing times going into an election with so much happening in the world from social injustice, COVID, the economy, distrust, and so much more. What an empowering verb that everyone was talking about. Vote.
As we transitioned into 2021 reflecting on the emotion, energy, and communities rallying behind voting. When reflecting back on 2020 you would see so much more advertisements to encourage people to vote from commercials, celebrities posting about voting, friends posting their sticker they received “I Voted” to name a few. It made me think about one of my favorite books, Atomic Habits by James Clear. It is a book that simplifies the process of how impactful habits are, how to build them, and how everything in our life comes down to our habits and choices. Who we are comes down to the decisions we make whether those may be autopilot habits from our past or conscious decisions of the new habits we are trying to create. He summarizes the importance of our habits and its attachment to our identity with this simple quote.
“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.
No single instance will transform your beliefs, but as the votes build up, so does the evidence of your identity.
This is why habits are crucial, they cast repeated votes for being a type of person.”
For example the person who goes to the gym and works out regularly is casting the vote that they are the kind of person who values their health. Or the person who is late to every meeting, is casting a vote that they are the kind of person who does not value people’s time. Slowly over time your actions build up and that becomes your resume of who you are, your identity.
How can we take the energy and passion for voting in our 2020 election and use that to something that is even more important. Have the same fire for who you want to become in 2021 even though the election is behind us. Instead of lightening up now that the election has concluded, how can we leverage our decisions for the most important vote of our life. Voting in each moment for the kind of person we want to be.