Have you ever heard the expression: “Fake it til you make it?”
There’s often a negative connotation to it. Mainly because of the ‘faking’ it part. No one likes a faker – someone who pretends to be something they’re not.
In our pursuit of virtue, we can use this principle to our advantage.
Becoming men of virtue is something that we must work (hard) at our entire lives. It takes daily commitment, grinding, grunt work. And as as we probably know, virtue is habit, it’s not just a single action. For example, one act of courage doesn’t make me a courageous man. It’s the habit of acting courageously.
So for virtues that we do not yet possess, there is a bit of ‘faking it.’
Simply put, if we want to be a just man, we need to start acting like one. In a sense, we need to start ‘faking it.’
Now, it’s worth noting: by ‘faking it,’ I don’t mean outright lying or pretending to be a just man when you have no intention of actually being just or faking virtue.
But, by ‘pretending’ to be a just man, we can begin to act justly, and when we turn those actions into habit… voila. It’s the difference between the person we are, and the person we are to become.
Or to use another expression: “Dress for the job you want.”