Updated: Jan 3, 2020
It’s quite common to ask our children WHAT they want to be when they grow up.
But I believe this is fundamentally the wrong question to be asking.
A better question to ask is:
“WHO do you want to be when you grow up?”
In my work, I very often encounter people trying to figure out what they want to do with their lives.
This is a valid and very common thing to do.
But I prefer to reframe it. To me at least, I see this as slightly misguided ambition.
That’s not to discount the importance of your work, profession or indeed vocation – but ‘what you want to become’ should always be secondary to ‘who you want to be become’.
Once you’ve got that sorted, then that will be reflected not only in your work, but also in everything else that you do.
It’s about how you choose to act in the world
How you choose to deal with adversity.
How you manage and nurture relationships with others.
How you establish and reinforce your boundaries.
How you prioritise and make decisions.
How you choose to navigate the broader moral landscape.
And ultimately how you keep yourself grounded and connected with that’s fundamentally important.
These are more pertinent ambitions, not only for us to adopt, but also to instil in our children.
This is about the development of fundamental character.
About living an authentic life that reflects some deeper sense of the truth that lies at your core.
About living with integrity and working towards embracing the fullness of your humanity and up to your God given potential.
So next time you find yourself asking, “what do I want to be?”
Check yourself for a second and rephrase. Ask instead “who do I want to be?”
Let the conversation start there and keep that as your focus.