I liked the idea of having these clear things that described you, shaped you, that you aimed towards - so with anything that you were doing, you could ask, "Is this helping me become more like this?" And if not, maybe asking why you're doing that.
I cam up with five pretty much right off the bat. I added a sixth, because I might not always feel comfortable sharing the fifth. Then I added a seventh, because I realised that though God was kinda in all of them, he wasn't specifically represented. And I thought was pretty darn important.
This is the list that I came up with.
- Present Son
- Caring Friend
- Dreaming Creator
- Discerning Thinker
- Devoted Lover
- Lasting Influencer
- Courageous Follower
I want to go into those a bit, unpack them. So sit down with me for a moment! This might take some time.
The first one there isn't just about being a son. It's about family. Whether that be being a son, a brother - and hopefully, one day, a husband and a father - all of that. But there wasn't really a word for that, so I just put in son, for now. And for me, present was the most important descriptor to have there. Because I think so many problems stem from people just not being there. Not all problems - but a lot of them. And so one of the things I really wanted to be was more present for my family, and in my family. That's still something that I want to do.
After family comes friends, of course! But what sort of friend do you want to be? A helpful friend? A kind friend? A generous friend? Certainly - but I think I found many of those, and more, summed up in the word caring. I want to be caring towards my friends. I want to be there for them, helping them when they're down, listening to them when they need an ear - I want them to know that they matter to me. That they matter a lot. So caring friend is the second one.
Then we get more into what I do - so creating! Obviously. And for me, the word that worked was dreaming. I don't want to be a creator that only works within the possible, or the realistic. Within what will probably work, or what's doable. I want to dream big, shoot for the stars. And probably miss most of the time - but hey, it's better than just shooting at the wall and getting bored because it's so easy to hit it every time.
I'm also an avid thinker. And quite a deep thinker. But that wasn't quite the right word for me, because it didn't really have a purpose. It's what it looks like, yes, but it doesn't answer the why. After a bit, I realised that it was discerning. Figuring out what is true, what is right, what is best. That's what I try to achieve through my thinking. Sifting through things to find the gold.
I couldn't go through this without putting this in - after all, I'm a Four! So, yes, lover, despite not having many opportunities to demonstrate that. When thinking on what sort of lover I would want to be (a question I rather enjoyed considering), I couldn't go past the word devoted. I want to be the sort of person that keeps coming back to someone, again and again, no matter what's happening. That keeps aiming to do best by them, and working to make their life amazing. But I'll stop waxing lyrical and move on.
When I tried to think of another one - I thought that I want to influence people. But not in the sense that I want to be a big name, or something like that. I don't want to be an Elon Musk, or a Steve Jobs. But I want to make an impact on the lives of people around me. And the kind of impact that I want to have? I want it to be lasting. I don't want it to be something that's just here and gone. I want to be impacting people in ways that makes a real difference, that lasts, that sticks, that passes on to other people. That old idea of each person you influence then influencing other people, etc etc.
And lastly, I want to be a follower of God. But not just any old follower. I want to be a courageous follower. This one is very much inspired by the movie by the same name. If you haven't seen it, do yourself a favour. It's one of the better Christian movies out there, that isn't actually cheesy. But I want to be someone who follows God even when it's hard, even when it doesn't make sense, even when the world is against me. Even if it becomes illegal. Hopefully that doesn't happen - but I want to be someone who does stand in God's truth. (NB: For those that feel a little bit of bile right now, I'm not talking about hitting people in the face with God's truth, or cutting them down with it. That sword is meant to be used against the forces of darkness, not people.)
This is who I want to be. This is what I aim for. This is how I try and frame what I do, how I live my life. I hope you find this interesting - and perhaps helpful in thinking about the way that you live your own life as well.