Who are you? No, I’m not going to start reciting 1970s rock songs. But who are you and what do you stand for? What are you passionate about? What causes would you die for? What defines you as a person - a worker, a parent, a child, a spouse, a friend, a neighbor? We have one shot. That’s what we get. One shot to make a difference. One shot to leave a legacy of greatness. One shot to dream your dreams and make them come true. So I ask again, who are you?
Tell Me About Yourself
We are asked this question a lot - in interviews, in social situations, in business settings. How often do we answer by citing our job title? "I’m an accountant.” “I’m an engineer.” “I own my own business.” Given the setting, that may be an important piece of the answer, but it’s not the whole answer. Think about the roles you play in life… a parent, a spouse, a child, a friend, an employer, an employee, a child of God, a boater, a recreational athlete, a volunteer, an avid reader. You are defined by the sum of what you do in life, not how you earn a living. Life’s not about finding yourself, it’s about defining yourself!
You Are Your Character
“Character is doing the right thing when nobody is looking” ~ J.C. Watts. Character isn’t a one-and-done. Character isn’t defined when you’re on easy street. Character is defined one decision at a time; it’s carefully molded over a lifetime as one rides the good times but also perseveres through adversity. Life’s short, and there are a million excuses waiting for you. You can always take the easy way out, and you can always rationalize why you didn’t succeed. But that’s not what we're called to do. We were put on this planet to fulfill destinies far greater than ourselves. We were designed to live a life of character. Character is a statement to the world that answers the question, “Who are you?”
Legacy = Purpose + Passions + Priorities
In last week's blog, I talked about the 3 Ps in life:
- Purpose - the reason you believe you were put on earth; the legacy you plan to leave for generations to come
- Passion - how you enjoy spending your time, talents, and treasure
- Priorities - your North Star in life that guide your decisions, your actions, where you will and won't spend your time, and where you will and won't sacrifice
When you put together the sum of all three, you're defining your legacy. You’re writing the story of you, which will be passed on for generations to come. You’re defining the mark you are leaving on the world. Maybe your past hasn’t been so great, but today is a new day and a new you. Your story begins today - write it!
I encourage you to carve out 15 minutes this week and do the following:
- Think about the many roles you play in life. Write them down. Consider the message that each role sends to others about you. Are you a child of God? What’s your career? What roles do you play in a family - parent, child, spouse, caregiver? What are your hobbies and volunteer activities? How else do you spend your time? Write them down, and the next time someone says, “Tell me about yourself,” tell them about the whole you.
- Think about your character. How would others describe you during times of crisis? If you're not sure, ask those around you. Do you display honesty and integrity even when it may work against you? Do you persevere instead of looking for an easy way out? Do you own problems and take accountability for solutions instead of pointing a finger? Do you do the right thing even when nobody’s looking? In what areas can you improve your character?
- Define your legacy. Write it down. Write down the words you’d like to have people say at your funeral. Write down the words you’d like to have people use to describe you generations from now… Godly, family-oriented, kind, loving, caring, generous, compassionate, results-oriented, driven, motivated, inspirational, fearless. It’s up to you.