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