Achievement · Adventure · Character · Dreams · Goal-Setting · Mindset · Personal Development · Success

The Two Most Important Questions You’ll Ever Ask

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Surprisingly?  These are two questions that don’t depend on a distinct asker and answerer.

All that’s required to ask them is yourself and maybe a few (dozen?) pages in a journal and your fav pen.

“Who am I?” and “Who do I want to become?”

I imagine these are the most important questions you and I can ask ourselves, because the moment we think about them we take responsibility for our lives.  We welcome the power pen (hello, new fav!) into our hand, signing up to author our own story.  We clock in as the creators of our own character development.  We can define the life of our dreams and become our own kind of hero.

Photo from an Urban and Outdoor Education Class at the University of Saskatchewan in 2010

But like any good question, we often avoid these two because the answers don’t come easy – we’re happy to answer about someone else though!  When a friend asks me what I see in her,  I can identify all of the jaw-droppingly beautiful characteristics that make her unique (including helping her celebrate her strengths and accept her weaknesses), and even reveal to her potential she hasn’t seen in herself.

I’ll spout off about her bubbly personality and incredible ability to bring together the most beautiful and yet unexpected group of people.  I’ll tell her she’s a fantastic listener and the way she asks questions and nods earnestly shows she’s genuinely interested in people’s lives; she makes everyone she talks with feel special.  I’ll share about her impressive wit and party-hostessing skills.  I’ll admire her for the way she wears her heart on her sleeve and feels things fully.  I’ll tell her that her funny stories have the power to break down the walls around peoples hearts.  I’ll remind her of what a great mom she is because of the way she works so hard to provide her child experiences to help her grow into a beautiful young woman.  I’ll point out what makes her so great at her job – and praise her for her passion – if she loves it, and I’ll tell her she deserves to be happy and to pursue something that better suits her if she hates it.

Her eyes will light up and her heart will soften as she deepens her belief in her beauty.  

Her mind will expand and the flame in her belly will reignite as she considers untapped possibilities in her potential

And yet I know that if I ask this same question about myself it’s not so simple.  At least not until now.  And now I know why.

If you paid attention to the above description (and the way we tend to talk to our friends about them, as opposed to the way we talk to others about them), I gushed about her characteristics – those qualities that made her unique and beautiful – and yet (besides mentioning she’s great at her job or at being a mom) I didn’t really say anything about what she does, a piece of paper she earned, a title she had, or a medal she won.

If I were reminding my friend who she was, I probably wouldn’t list the medals she’s won, but if I were talking about her to someone else, I might.  Why is that?

When we talk about our friends or ourselves to others, we tend to share accomplishments above characteristics – yet the most valuable thing about our achievements is the way they shape and change us as we work towards them.

Although the resume is important, what’s more significant is the person you’ve become because of the resume.

Qualities trump victories.

So, sister or brother, I challenge you to bust out your journal right now, write as if you’re your own best friend (because really, as lame as it sounds that’s actually cool), and discover the power that lies in your favourite pen to transform your reality into the one of your dreams by authoring your own character development.

Who are you?  Who do you want to become?

If you write it right, it will sound like a tale of beautiful traits sprinkled with a few really cool accomplishments, rather than a hollow-sounding resume crowded with achievements.

The coolest part of this all though?  When you realize character trumps achievement you learn that you can actually become the person you want to be even if you don’t accomplish all the things you want to do.

In case you were curious, here are my answers:

Who am I?

I’m a bubbly, happy person; a hard-working goal-getter and an inspiring girl boss.  I’m a dreamer and a risk-taker with a tendency to be idealistic and a bit naive.  I see and bring out the best in others.  I’m addicted to inspiring words – writing, speaking, reading, or hearing them.  I especially love using words to celebrate the special people in my life on the special days in their lives.   I’m good at creating a safe space for  people to share about their lives.  I’m a hungry student of life and of love.  I love anything that helps me grow: books, podcasts, yoga, meditation, lifting weights, relationships, coaches, competing, etc.  I love people, animals (especially baby ones), and places with my whole heart.  Every time I meet a new guy I like I think he’s my soulmate.  I still believe in soulmates.  I’m gifted at making friends.  I practice and preach solid self care from food to fitness to using affirmations or taking time out to rest.   I’m very good at moving heavy barbells and yet only beginning to understand and to appreciate my body.  I have the ability to make people feel important and motivated.  I’m a good communicator of everything from movement to my own feelings.  I’m struggling to overcome perfectionism.  I’m a playful auntie, caring and accepting sister, and a daughter who loves to be taken care of and yet also to give back to her parents.  I am gorgeous inside and out and even though I know that’s true I still felt guilty writing it.  I’m someone who uplifts the world with her words and her actions.

Lift Weight.  Uplift the World.

Who do I want to become?

I want to become the highest and happiest version of me.  I want to continue to be that girl I just said I am, but I want to find out who she can become with a few more years of refining.  I want to see the beauty in my weakness and to hone my strength.   I want to turn my blogs into bestselling books and my little public speaking workshops into giant motivational conferences and retreats.  I want to live a life that is both big and yet refreshingly simple.    I want to lead by example by always pursuing growth physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  I want to always be a coach.  I want to be a lover in one of those life-partnerships where you look at the couple and know they’re meant for each other because they sparkle just that much brighter together (I want to be a soulmate).  I want to be a pet owner instead of someone who just loves other people’s pets.  I want to be an Olympic-level lifter.  I want to be a super proficient mover.  I want to have a close relationship with nature.  I want to travel the world.  I want to make a difference for social justice.  I want to use words and actions to uplift as many people as possible to discover their best selves.  I want to discover how much I can love, lift, and uplift in this lifetime.

Those are my answers.  Now what about yours?

Who are you and who do you want to become?


The topics discussed in this blog are things we work through together in my program, Projekt Possible.  The next round launches in the New Year.  Click here to learn more about how I’ll personally coach you towards your biggest and most authentic life.

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