I recently heard former First Lady, Michelle Obama say as a child she hated the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” She goes on to say that we never really grow up because that implies reaching an end or stopping point. In her opinion, we’re always becoming more than we were. I immediately thought about ‘becoming my best-self’ and how do I ‘go about it’.
I was moved to meditate on 2 very distinct perspectives. The first being focused on how I can create my best-self and secondly, how I can discover my best-self. I went to the whiteboard in my office and wrote create on one side and discover on the other. I started to write words and phrases that came to mind about each of these perspectives. I made a conscious decision to try not to overthink this exercise. I started writing on the create side first. I put down things like ‘something is missing’; ‘make something better’; ‘something is lacking’; ‘upgrade’; ‘do-over’; and ‘not good enough’. When I thought about discover, I wrote ‘find it’; ‘understand it’; ‘I’m enough’; ‘wonderfully made’; ‘tap into it’; and ‘harness it’. Again, I did this without giving it a lot of thought. I simply wanted to see intuitively where my mind would take me.
So what’s the purpose of this exercise? On my journey of becoming my best-self I wanted to see what’s my dominant driving perspective. Clearly, the need to discover is very strong with me. When I started to think about why discover vs create my mind went to personal definitions of each word. For me, to create is to bring something into existence from nothing. I don’t believe that’s within my abilities. For discover, it’s simply the action(s) taken to reveal or uncover what’s already there. I’ve had moments in my life where I felt the need (pressure) to create or re-create myself. But now, I believe my best-self is already present in me. I need to devote more time to discovering the gifts and talents that make me who I am and use them to the fullest to serve others.
I recommend you give this exercise a try. This isn’t about right or wrong and it doesn’t matter whether you find yourself leaning toward creating, discovering or some other perspective. Just remember, we’re always becoming.