It’s 2016. Have you told yourself “New Year – New Me” yet?

Ralph Waldo Emerson said “The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

Now is the time to decide who you’re purposely going to be in 2016.

So many things define who you are to the world. You’re a parent. You’re somebody’s child. You’re a friend. You’re a church member. You’re a student. You’re a teacher. You’re a customer service rep or a loan officer. You’re an employee of some sort…or not. You may be a gang member or a drug addict. You may be a spouse or a divorcee or just plain single.

You’re all these things, kind of by default because your parent, friends, boss, society and your past have said that’s who you are but, have you ever purposefully decided who you are? Have you, yourself defined yourself? Are you being the person you think you are? Are you being the person you want to be?

Most people are living a “less than life” – a life where they settle for less than what they would call ideal.

They have less time, they are less healthy, they are less financially secure, they have fewer aspirations and achieve less, and are generally less happy than what anyone would consider ideal.

And this is one of the few times I’ll ever say these four words in this specific order: It’s not your fault.

Most of us have been raised and trained to be okay and even comfortable living a “Less Than Life.” We’ve been led to believe that being average is acceptable. But the difference between the wealthiest 1 to 2 percent who own around half of the world’s wealth and the other 98-99 percent is being taught how to think rather than being taught what to think.

The average person never achieves more than what they are currently doing and never really attempts to achieve their dreams  because they’re living within the limitations of the conversations, opinions or expectations others have of them.

A lot of us have been told by people we care about, believe in, people, admire, people whose opinion we value, things we couldn’t do and we accepted it. Their opinion became our reality.

We generally get from ourselves and others what we expect. It is a huge fact that you will either live up or down to your own expectations. If you expect to lose, you will. If you expect to be average, you will be average. If you expect to feel bad, you probably will. If you expect to feel great, nothing will slow you down. And what is true for you is true for others.

If you have any sort of significant goals, that’s great! However, if you don’t think of yourself as the kind of person who is capable of achieving those goals then you’re going to find yourself frustrated and disappointed. You won’t have the self-confidence necessary or the confidence of anyone else when you start about the work to be done to reach your goals.

You must take the time to purposefully define yourself. Choose the words that you want to define you. You’re not just an actor in this movie called your life. You are both the writer and the director. Cast yourself into the role you want to play. Breathe life into the character of your choosing.

Today’s challenge is to choose three words that you want to define the person you will be in 2016. Think hard and long about it because these words will guide your steps as you live your life.

By choosing powerful adjectives like enthusiastic, bold, driven, engaged, charismatic, grateful, confident, and outgoing to describe and define yourself, you engage in a spiritual, emotional, physical contract that requires you to live these characteristics. You will have to do the things that enthusiastic, bold, driven people do and you will begin to see the achievements that you desire out of life.

Hi! I’m You. Nice To Meet Me.

The other part of this reintroduction of yourself is to define how other people see you. This is a great motivator to keep you on your chosen path. Imagine what the experience of meeting you for the first time is like for another person. What three words do you want them to use to describe you? Most definitely not words like, meek, unimpressive, intimidating, moody, grumpy, mean, or anything else negative. So purposefully choose the words that describe you and make the impression on the world that you want to be known for.

Imagine meeting yourself for the first time and walking away thinking “That person sure was impressive, confident and inspiring!” or even “I’m glad I met…. It’s not every day that you meet someone so caring, genuine, and engaging.”

This is the essence of being better than average and living a better than average life. It is all about purposefully being the person you know you should be and leaving a legacy of being a person that people honestly and sincerely say “It’s a pleasure to meet you!”

Editor’s note: Jonathan McMillan is a motivational speaker and founder of Be Better Than Average. He lives in Denver and can be reached at