Who do you want to become?

The reason who do you want to become is one of my favorite questions is because it is two parts understanding, one part imagination, one part desire, and 6 parts action.
It says I want this and I desire this for myself. The question alone begs imagination and when we imagine what we want to become then half the battle is won. The other half of the battle is doing the patient work of seeing that character come to fruition.
This question is NOT asking who do you look up too and want to imitate, but instead how do you want to be looked up too. We are in charge of our own life. The only person that can change you is you. You have the power and the agency right now to become who you want to become, so what is it?

How are we to figure out who we want to become?

I guess this topic automatically assumes that you know who you are. If we do not know who we are then how do we get any idea of what we want to be and how it is going to come about in getting to that place? I find the question “who do you want to become” one of the most provocative questions because it requires you to analyze and understand what has made you who you are to this very moment. The question of who you want to become is almost a catch 22 because it requires putting yourself in the future of some amount. How far in the future is your choice, but the catch is to not get stuck in the future while dwelling on the past. We have to get past our past and come back from the future. No more hover boards and road tripping with Mcfly. So the first question to ask is who are you. to dive into this deeper check out the who are you article , but for now let’s stick with the understanding that you have the social identities of a male or female, a student, a friend, a son or daughter. These are the first significant identities we have in our life. Our family is our first understanding of community, our first understanding of care, compassion, acceptance, affection, affirmation, and love. So to answer who you are, basically it is an exploration of how these expressions of love have been reflected to you. Like I said to dive into this more check out the who are you article.
Now to the fun stuff…

Who do you want to become. I do not say who you want to be for a very important reason. Becoming is a process, a journey of transformation that is centered in learning by experience and it is not something that can just be. If you want to be somewhere you have to see that place as a location that is begging you to come. This place you want to be is the place where your created purpose will come alive. It is from this place that we can say your desires are pure and good. It is admirable to desire to become this thing that keeps coming up for you. There is purpose; The more we become aligned with our natural desires and what we were created to do, the more our purpose in coming into who we are will be realized. I believe this plays into the meaning of Gandhi’s famous saying of “be the change you want to see”. Often times this quote is used to silence critics and complainers, but it is important to see that we need to quiet the inner voice that tells us that we can not be the change. The truth is that we have agency, we have power, and we have a purpose.

Change the world

If you could change the world, in what ways would you like to see it change? Often we make change about me against them or me against you instead of us. What I am trying to say is that we have a natural bend towards a collective community, but our focus is fixed on ourselves. The only change we can then think of is the change in our own lives instead of the world. Granted we have been told the lie that we can not shoot for the stars and we can not change the world. I believe you can and the only person getting in the way of you believing what I believe is you. When we are against something the problem seems too big to conquer, but when we focus on what we want things to become the job is much easier.

What makes you come alive?

This does not take jumping out of an airplane contrary to popular belief. An abundant life can be found outside of adrenaline induced activities. Being excited for life does not always mean it will be extremely exciting. It could be hiking, fishing, sailing, knitting, painting, or a sport like curling. What is it that will energize you when you get up so the excitement from your passion will expand with vibrancy? We can not only let the days that we go to Disneyland or six flags be days that we wake up excited. Even in those activities I would urge you to understand what it is that you enjoy about them. It is this enjoyment that keeps you excited for the activity. It is not the activity itself that keeps you doing it over and over again. There is an underlying reason that draws you, what is it for you? That is where we can start to look for the excitement for life. This excitement for life will be what propels you into what you want to become.
What makes you cry? Sorry to get sad and somber on you, but this expression of emotion is one of the greatest tools that we can use to see what stirs our soul. I am not talking about the kind of crying that takes place during a funeral or the death of a loved one, but the kind that arises when you are in a movie and you are stirred with an overwhelming emotion. This happened for me when I went to the holocaust museum because of my desire to be in peace and reconciliation work. Maybe this would happen for you while watching Inside out, because you connect with the loneliness and pain in childhood; or maybe it is watching Hotel Rwanda because international justice work excites you. When out shopping or just in the community what do you complain about or what hurts you to see happening? Often our complaints are just a cover over vulnerability so that our emotions really do not get seen. Is it somebody in a wheelchair trying to get by without assistance or is it a child playing in the park by herself. Emotions are good; we were purposefully created with emotions. They are supposed to direct us back to our creator and to what we are created for, but I want us to see that our emotions can guide us to what we desire and what makes us excited for life.
What are you skilled at? I am not trying to get you to figure out if you can swing a hammer or draw blood, both which takes more skill than you think. Maybe a better way to ask this is what are your strengths in? Are you an idea person, a strategy person, a director, a contributor, or somebody with empathy? There are so many things? A great test to take is strength finders, to get an idea what your top five are. Essentially this question is asking what gifts have you been given that can be used to make your work connect with your desires. It is when the gifts and purpose connect the abundant life comes about.

Finding these things out does not void the hard dedicated work it will take to pursue the abundant life that comes from being who you have been made to become. Neither does it void the necessity to grow and participate in relationships. What my hope is that it pushes you further into understanding your relationship with the world and everything beyond it. This is a journey and is not easy to figure out. It will take patience with much drawn out effort, physically and literally.
One of the most helpful things for me has been to find a theme to your life. With that theme think about what directions you could go and how you can serve. I have it been told to me that the most life giving thing is the continual act of giving back. I believe you have something to offer and it can change the world.
Let’s turn back to the original question, what you want to become. I will start the conversation later about the transformative process, but let’s sit the brain storming spot. Sit here; take a minute, a few deep breaths. What is your dream, what can you provide? This may lead you down a path of seeing what you are missing in life, but what I want us to be able to do is dream from a place of desire and hope. The pieces are not really missing in life, but what is missing is the initiation on the path of becoming. Remember becoming takes a destination and that destination will beg you to come to it, so let’s spend some time figuring out this important part of life. Remember we are not defined by what we do or what we have done, so who you are and who you are to become is the emphasis. What traits do you want to see come out in this person you are to become?
Let me know who you want to become below in the comments

Talk about the gritty part of who you want to become,
The attributes and traits
The imagination of the life you want
How do you want to live?

here is a link to the strength finders resource
http://www.strengthsfinder.com/home.aspx

what we need to know about the vision of our dream

What is vision and why does it need to be restored?

I would like to say something definite and fancy like if you do not have vision then you do not have anything, but is not true. We can walk and act without a vision, at least a grand vision.
A vision is a big picture goal or an imagination of an activity that has yet to take place. Vision can be small which leads to small victories, but also they can be big which are usually planted in living out a particular value or belief.
When we talk about restoring vision we are talking about restoring a possibility, an identity, or perspective. We can walk and act blindly and will be like a duck with a broken leg spinning in circles. Without vision our impact will be limited. Going from task to task is tiring because each time the ignition needs to get restarted. Vision keeps us continuing to drive forward.
When we look at pro athletes and people with seemingly magical talents we see something special because we can not imagine how they got their talent. Hard work can be seen, but internal drive can not. Internal drive is fueled by vision. Vision is the one thing that transcends talent and hard work.

The big things in life

The question then turns to what do we build our vision from and how do we get vision. The important part for you to remember for yourself and the people you interact with is that your vision is unique to you; nobody sees the world like you see the world. This means you have a unique impact and purpose on this earth. I like to think of this in the frame of a story. This is why I use the phrase restoring my vision.
Vision is a journey and is being shaped and formed by each experience. The restoring aspect is the process or the silent step of faith into the unknown.
I would like to be able to give you a particular outline with a step by step method of how to get your vision back to the clear 20/20. I can tell you what goes into vision, but that is as close as I can get because the restoring of vision is a journey and an active pursuit. There are particular experiences that will come and people will go; change is inevitable, which is why vision is intersectional.

Values

You have your values and this shows how you walk. Not the particular stride, but the wake that comes from the path you have blazed. Your values guide you, but your values are also guided by your beliefs. Sometimes people confuse beliefs and values. We have to value what we believe to let it be something that impacts us and a value comes from a personal experience. This personal experience can be a momentary situation or it could be a past memory on repeat. Values can change and develop but are defined by what we believe to be true about our reality.

Identity

You are what you eat, well not really, but you are what you think you are. This intersects with what you believe, but is different than a value. Identity is the inner workings of you coming out. Some refer to identity as a sense of worth, your inner foundation, the rock on which you build your life on, or for our purposes who you see yourself as. Many different positive and negative things can be our identity and it can be slippery or it can be stable. Who we are can always be changed and developed because there is a rhetorical question that life begs of us and that is who are you becoming. Identity is the answering of this question

Desires

Desires and wants have a bad reputation. This is something I think should be restored and can be restored. If we always view desires and wants as negative things or something that needs to be controlled then we will just come to fear our inclinations. this can turn to a deep rabbit hole, which I have found so many people stuck in. it is so hard to get out and embrace our inclinations. Yes there are bad motives and selfish desires, but what about the opposite side. You have desire for joy to serve, to understand, to be in community, to be with others and to give yourself. Often times these motives are misunderstood by others and they are misunderstood by ourselves. This is definitely a cultural and structural pressure that has contributed to this ignorance of a vital aspect of your humanity. It is an essential part of vision because it is the collision of knowing who you are and being able to voice it. If we can not be comfortable saying what we desire and want then how are we going to be comfortable dreaming and pursuing an ambition? Yes, again this gets back to what you believe about yourself and if you feel you are worthy enough to dream. If we can not get excited about a desire or ambition then how are we supposed to move forward?

Drive

Drive is that internal aspect that people do not see and is only recognized by those who see the daily dedication of faithful hard work. The internal drive is often referred to as a flame. This flame can be low and it can be blazing. The people with the blazing internal drive have been able to make sense of life in a seemingly unique way. I believe this unique way is available to anyone. The internal drive is found from matching your purpose, which is all the previous things that have happened in your life, with your identity. When your identity falls align with your purpose it is like a rush of air for a fire. This is what people call passion, full of life, exuberant and full of abundance. We often refer to these people as the glass half full people, but in actuality there glass is full and over flowing. This is why they are able to develop their skills the way they do, live with so much vitality, and love each person as if they are the last person on earth.

This post has been quite long, but vision needed to be explained so that we can see how to see. Each one of these aspects can have an entire book written about them and can be expounded upon in many coaching lessons. The important part to remember is that they are intersectional. As your virtual vision coach I want to be with you in this journey of discovery. I will be with you as you are discovering what it is like to have clearer vision.
In the comments share which one is the hardest for you or the one that is the greatest struggle, but also if you had this 20/20 vision what would you do with it, what would be your big vision?
Tell me how you are restoring your vision

when a break goes to fast

in the past couple months I have taken a break from a few things in life that I was previously doing on a regular basis before. this is something I have tried to stay conscious about so that I do not lose track of the things that were once a consistent part of my life. these things were not particularly unhealthy or bad for me, but I lost track of their purpose and meaning. for me I noticed that by the enjoyment and fruit that was not taking place. the passion had dwindled and it was work to just keep the flame lit. there is a difference between enjoying your work and working for your enjoyment. often times I feel that we get caught up in the later in the name of enjoying what we do. often times when we are so caught up in the doing the work it just seems ordinary to us and we lose track of what excites us and why we are doing what we do
for me the first time I took an active approach to this was when I graduated from college. most of the people around me expected and encouraged me to go onto grad school soon after graduation. if they did not say it upfront then I would face the implications of the infamous question of what are you going to do after graduation. it took a while but I came to terms with saying I am not sure and I don’t know. my friend Philippe had helped me become comfortable with responding in these scenario’s, check his experience in saying i am not sure http://philippelazaro.com/2014/10/06/whatever-comes-next/#comments . saying I am not sure allowed me to take a break to not pressure myself into a decision that I was not ready to make. I was able to conclude that I desired a break and I had the privilege and ability to do just that for the next 6 months or so.
“we were on a break” the famous quote from ross and Rachel in the Friends sitcom when they took a “break “in their relationship. this cultural idea of what a break is something that we use as an easy way out when we are not sure what we want and we see another option, but don’t fully want to give up what we already have. essentially they want to eat their cake and have it too. don’t get me wrong I am all for breaks, after all I am here trying to convince you that they are good and should be a part of our lives, but need to be implemented in a purposeful and intentional way. as ross and Rachel figured out breaks are difficult because you still have a desire to do something, but there is something else pulling you another way. essentially this is a litmus test to test the strength of your original motives or desires, so I guess you can call it a fast.
Jesus fasted. if that was only enough motivation for us to join with him in the practice we would be able to see the power that comes with letting go of daily simple desires to reorient our heart, mind, soul, and strength. I think if we looked at a break like a fast then we would be able to life with much greater purpose and love for those around us. I will admit I suck at fasting, but it is something I want to start practicing. I am coming out of a break from writing as I am writing this. it started back in august and after a month and a half or so I started to ask myself why am I not writing anymore and I figured out it was because I did not know why I was writing, so consequently I realized it became about the act of doing it. I realized I lost track of the why so I lost track of the purpose and excitement of doing it. when I tried to write it felt more like work and I was guilting myself into doing it after a while just so I can do the act. Writing this I am trying to get back the desire and excitement. I guess you can say I am now in a fast because I am trying to reorient my desires to a joyful and loving place so that my writing can be a way of connecting instead of venting or blabbering. this is where the difficulty of fasting comes in because it takes mindfulness, dedication, and grace. remember it is ok to take a break they are refreshing and they allow you to check why you are doing what you are doing. if you need to reorient your heart, mind, soul, and strength then remember the power that fasting has. It allows us to see more clearly.

the great disconnect: being honest about love and purpose

do you ever feel so close to something but yet still feel so far from something. I am not sure if there is a word to describe that feeling, but that is the way I have felt for the past 3 or so months. the only way that I can think to relate it is a lamp with a cord that is not plugged in. I guess you can call the feeling disconnected, but it is more substantial than just disconnecting the plug from the outlet, probably just because feelings are involved, but I’ll go ahead and call this the great disconnect. like the disconnected lamp there is not much light in life. it is like walking around at night during a power outage, you can not see what is coming up , but you got to keep walking because you believe the light will turn back on soon.
not much in life was making sense or seemed like it was going in my favor. it was frustrating. I did not want to be where I was , but there was no plan I could conceive to change my situation. I just had to sit and embrace where I was. that was difficult. it was like an eye of a storm. the pillage was over, but I knew I would have to go back and repair what was broken. I could not rush the dissipation of this storm and I felt I was in a holding cell in the eye of this storm, so all I could do is wait, embrace, and call for help.
the storm is dissipating. they say time heals everything, whoever they is I want to tell them that they are misleading because love is needed to heal. in fact henry Cloud and john Townsend say that grace aka love is needed alongside time for growth to happen. this is the great disconnect played out in a very simple way. we can not wait for the light to plug itself back in because that will never happen, but we need to seek love because that is what will make everything connect.
for me it was one of the hardest things to seek love because I did not believe I was lovable or worthy of love, so all I had was time and let me tell you that time did not feel very purposeful. I can look back over that period of time and see that it did have meaning, but that is only in Hine site because I know I would not be where I am now. I am still having a hard time being comfortable telling people that I am good because I have not seen anything that has changed in my life. just writing this I gained a helpful word; that nothing has needed to change because I have been loved the whole time. my feelings dictated by my experiences with other people have shaped how I view myself and that has become futile to how I view life. the experience that I most often live in is one that is built around love being conditional and change instead of intentionally unconditional steadfast love.
when I stopped writing a few months ago I did it not because I did not feel authentic or that I did not like it, but because I did not see the purpose in it anymore because I did not see the purpose in myself. Essentially I did not believe my voice mattered. I was not worthy to have my voice to be heard and I did not believe that I was loved. I did not have love and I did not have purpose, so I believed for that period of time, so I shut down and I quit . so often I believe this is true at many of the purposeful things that we throw the rag in on. There is a time to quit something and there is a time to persevere knowing the difference is important. Distinguishing perseverance from quitting is easiest done in the foundation of love and this is where the reconnection starts to take place. The great disconnect is still a battle for me, but I know the more I come to live in the reality of the unconditional love given to me the more I will be able to live out my purpose in its full entirety. I will be plugged in, connected and full of light to share with the rest of the world when this happens.