what do you want to be?

in life

at work

with your family

and friends?

I have just started reading for the 4th time Brand You50 by Tom Peters.

On first blush, it’s b-l-o-o-d-y obvious: fully self-expressed.

The trouble is that so few people know what that feels like.

[i believe we fully express ourselves in Art (in the broadest sense) – see in particular Linchpin by Seth Godin or Creative is a Verb by Patti Digh]

Wrongly, we go through an arcane process: learning for the sake of it: a career which others have labelled as worthwhile; and then we wake up and ask:

“Have I arrived?”

[are you living out the life you expected?]

We allow our job title to define us: solicitor, doctor, or even the word artist.

There are stereotypes in every walk of life, but just imagine you could write your own script? Would you carry on the behaviours that you have allowed yourself to believe will move you forward in life?

For me I have never been able to come up with a definitive answer to this question.

To serve is the best I can describe; or to help others live a life where they are the most of anything.

Does that evince a label?

If you are stuck then you are not alone.

Perhaps it is too strong to say that we have been brainwashed to believe that the industrial complex is the solution; but if you believe that the need to make and consume has led us to a happier place, then look around you.

The pressure to succeed has driven a stake through our creative soul.

The need to provide has become our enemy.

How many of us dare to dream?

You may not be ready to fly, but you have to keep this question in your mind.

Consider forming a “What do you want to be?” group and kick the question around, and start painting pictures of what each person’s best version of him/herself looks like. Think collaboration, not competition.

It may be in a place that is far removed from where you are now, and you may be scared to contemplate the destination but you have no choice.

I’m serious.

Given how much of your life you give up to ‘work’, it has to make sense to a greater extent than the month end.

What feels right now, will be different in ten years.

what do you want to be is powerful if you allow yourself to think.

if all you do is to sit and wonder, then before you know where you are it will all be over.

Don’t talk though


Do something.

Even if you haven’t yet set a better sail, the mere act of doing will give you the insight that you need.