We often ask children: What do you want to be when you grow up? Their answers can range from fireman to nurse, from teacher to pilot or even to trash collector (depending on the child’s fascination at the time.)
Less frequently, we ask an even more important question….of children and of ourselves: What do you want to be like when you grow up?
A number of years ago, I heard someone say the best predictor of what we will be like when we get older is what we are like today. While not absolute, I believe that statement is generally true.
But what might change that predictability? Am I satisfied with who I am today? What does that promise about my future self? Do I want to change my thinking and behavior? Develop traits that characterize a different type of person (or leader)?
If I say yes to change, I’ll need to get started. Intentional and honest self-reflection is a great first step. Identifying character traits that I want my life to reflect will help me progress. Declaring my intentions, and seeking feedback and accountability can help me stay on track.
My father passed away over five years ago. As his illness progressed, we worked with him to prepare his funeral service. We talked with him about how to describe who he had been. The theme he chose for his entire service was, “He lived, he laughed, he loved and he left.” It was a fitting theme that captured so well what my father was like throughout his life. His daily choices reflected the man he wanted to become.
The best predictor of what I will be like when I get older is…