Geeky Stoics
Geeky Stoics
Make-Believe "Future You"

Make-Believe "Future You"

Roleplaying might be your best shot at becoming better

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Insights from C.S. Lewis and George Washington on being better than we actually are. Turns out “fake it to make it” might actually be a decent mantra for self-improvement.

This is Geeky Stoics. A Podcast and Newsletter about the wisdom to be found in popular culture.


I've been thinking a lot lately about imposter syndrome and when exactly I'm going to feel like the person I one day wish to be.

There's a future me out there who I believe is more disciplined and entrepreneurial, creative, brave, and patient.

When is he going to arrive?

There's a lot that I want to say on this subject.

It's one that I refer to as self-actualization, and I'm going to share two insights with you on that, one from C.S.

Lewis and another from George Washington biographer Richard Brookhiser.

In Mere Christianity, a book by C.S.

Lewis, he lays out the practical path to being a Christian.

Contrary to what many in the world teach, particularly in the church, Lewis offers a poetic case for what you might recognize as fake it to make it.

At some point, we have to decide, I am an artist.

I am an author.

I am a Christian.

I am a soldier.

Declaring it so might actually be your best hope of realizing it in the real world.

This is CS Lewis.

When you are not feeling particularly friendly but know you ought to be, the best thing you can do very often is to put on a friendly manner and behave as if you were a nicer person than you actually are.

And in a few minutes, as we have all noticed, you will be really feeling friendlier than you were.

Just by pretending.

Very often the only way to get a quality in reality is to start behaving as if you had it all along.



Lewis, ever the fan of imaginative play and make-believe, suggests here that to be more Christ-like, a believer's best hope is to role-play.

Your heart may never be fully transformed in this life, but you're better served by pretending that it is.

Do this every single day in every walk of your life that you see as important.

Fatherhood, motherhood, marriage, career, creativity, spirituality.

Now, in George Washington on Leadership, a book by Richard Brookhiser, he tells of how Washington would inspire his troops throughout his military career.

Washington's letters and accounts of Washington

At war, show that the famed General and Father of America often referred to his colleagues as, quote, my brave fellows when addressing them.

My brave fellows, I ask you to reenlist.

My brave fellows, fight.

Richard Brookhiser says, maybe they would go home or run away and not be brave at all, but Washington would get them to be brave by telling them that they are.

Now imagine if you went through life like the Cowardly Lion and the Wizard of Oz, both being told that you're a coward and telling it to yourself every single day.

And then someone comes along and tells you that you could be brave and even that perhaps you already are brave.

Anybody who's raised kids knows that this kind of rhetorical nudge matters a heck of a lot in helping kids realize their potential.

Start being the person you want to be today.

Tell yourself you are that person.

You might find that by saying it, you hold yourself closer to the standards of that future you that you want to one day arrive.

This is a complex subject.

You know, you don't want to fake.

You don't want to be disingenuous.

You don't want to be unreal.

You also don't want to, you know, carry a sort of hubris like you're better than you are.

This is, of course, the nature of balance.

You want to try to get these things in balance with one another.

But you do have to aspire to be that future version of yourself.

And that might just mean that you have to role play it and act it out every single day.

I hope you can find that balance.

I'm Stephen Kent and you're listening to the Geeky Stoics Podcast.

You can find out more about what we do, finding wisdom in pop culture, books, TV, and movies over at

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Be well and we'll see you soon.

Geeky Stoics
Geeky Stoics
Your favorite stories are part of your real life. Star Wars. The Lord of the Rings. Marvel. Batman. Are you listening to what they’re trying to tell you? Geeky Stoics is all about Stoicism, Philosophy, and Wisdom found in Pop Culture.