What you do is irrelevant until you do this


I’ve been trying to follow my bliss (it’s not a destination, it’s a journey). The thing is, I have a pretty good idea of what interests me, what skills I possess, what my talents are and what I need to improve. There is no ONE RIGHT WAY. This is all good news.

But I wonder if I’ve been asking the right questions. Or more specifically, if I’ve asked the right question (singular).

What is that all important question? It’s not what I want to do or what I am passionate about. The question I think we need to ask ourselves first is this:

 WHO do I want to be?

 We are all multidimensional people who have lots of interests, skills and talents but what we do and who we want to be are not the same thing.  Asking WHO we want to be opens up a completely different dialogue.

 To answer this question, you have to dig deeper.  And I think your success in achieving a life you love is determined NOT by what you do, but by deciding WHO you want to be. And then using that as a means to align all of your efforts and make decisions. WHO you want to be affects your thoughts, behavior, beliefs and emotions unlike what you want to do.  WHO you want to be lays the foundation for what kind of (doctor, teacher, artist, banker, mother) you will be.

Here’s an example. Gordon McDonald said that there are two types of people: Driven and Called. Driven people believe they own everything and spend huge amounts of energy protecting what they think they own (relationships, things, businesses). Called people believe that everything is on loan. As a result, called people tend to foster or cultivate relationships. They understand that people and things will flow in and out of their lives and are more grateful for the chance to have them and while in their possession, will act as stewards, caring for it for whomever has it next.

The point isn’t whether you agree with McDonald or if one is better than the other. The point is becoming aware of your subconscious thoughts and how they might direct your behavior.  Once you become aware of them you can decide if they are serving you well or not. Awareness will help you make a different choice.  You can live life on automatic pilot or you can take control of the wheel and steer in the direction you want to go.  Accept the responsibility.

Most of us don’t give a lot of thought about what we want to do, often falling into the first thing that comes along. We probably give even less thought about WHO we want to be. Asking what I want to do before figuring out WHO I want to be is putting the cart before the horse.  Humans are illogical and imperfect beings. Our behavior is determined by our feelings and emotions so figure out who you want to be and that will help you reframe your perspective and align your behavior in a (hopefully) more positive direction.

Figure out WHO you want to be and your path to what you want to do will be a lot simpler (not necessarily easier).


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