Remember when you were younger and your response to questions from the adults in your life included things like “When I grow up I want to be fill in the blank.” We start that line of questioning with our own children at such a young age, asking “When you grow up what do you want to be?” Are we asking the right question?
What I failed to realize as a kid, and up to now as an adult, is that I will always be ME, no matter what I choose to do. I’ve placed entirely too much of my identity and self-worth into what I do without relating it back to being the best me. Time to flip it.
When thinking about this change in my mindset the following questions keep entering my mind:
What does being the best me look like?
I came to this question in particular when listening to the audio version of Gretchen Rubin’s book The Happiness Project. In it she talks about her 12 commandments, a series of resolutions that she developed at the start of her project. Commandment #1: Be Codie (in her case Gretchen) has been top-of-mind. My hyperfocus on this resolution brought me to a couple more questions:
How do I discover the best me?
One thing I do know about myself, I do better when I can adhere to a process and be held accountable to others. I definitely have the need for “gold stars” in common with Gretchen. (she talks about this in The Happiness Project and in various installments of her Happier with Gretchen Rubin podcast). So, I’m embracing it.
I joined a Facebook group participating in Miracle Mornings. This group is made up of men and women from around the world, each foused on their own journey while supporting all the others in the group. We are all following the process laid out in Hal Elrod’s book, doing Life S.A.V.E.R.S. each day around our personal growth goals. It’s been amazing to me the amount of motivation and inspiration I gain from the acknowledgement, support and sharing from this group of dynamic individuals. I’m on Day 19 and, although I joined under the guise of a 30-day challenge, I don’t see an end in sight.
The process is the journey, which I’m learning does not have an end point. And that is something that now excites me and has allowed me to realize: I am never stuck, I can always grow.
Side note: I’m also focused on doling out the gold stars to myself as I meet and exceed my own expectations in this process. This gold star “self-love” is helping me develop a healthier mindset when it comes to recognition and where it comes from – learning that my own perspective is just as important, if not more than others’ when it comes to being a better me.
What happens when I focus on who I want to be over what I do for work?
- I find healthier ways to evaluate and enjoy my current work.
- I can better identify ways to drive towards intersections between who I want to be and what I want to do for work in order to better align the two.
- By identifying intersections of being and doing, my path and direction becomes clearer, filled with greater purpose and I feel in control of my own future.
Thinking back to my teenage and young adult self, grappling with the question of “What do you want to be when you grow up?” –my answer would be different now: “I want to be the best me I can possibly be!”