Who do you want to be?
Many have heard you can be whoever you want to be. Then life and cynicism suffocate our dreams with a weighted, wet blanket.
While the idealism of "you can do whatever you want with your life" is not the most helpful hot take, there's something profound about the question — Who do you want to be?
When creating a rule of life, this question is the best place to start.
A rule of life is a powerful tool that helps us define our life, knowing when to say yes and no to opportunities.
But before we start making commitments, we have to start with desire.
What do you want?
Jesus repeatedly asked this question (Matthew 20:21,23; Mark 10:36, 51; Luke 18:41).
If Jesus asked you, what would you say?
When attempting to bring definition to our life, we must begin with desire.
What kind of a person do I want to be?
What do I want out of life?
What do I want to do for Jesus?
What do I value?
Some church traditions teach that our desires are always selfish and questionable. However, one of St. Ignatius' excellent insights is that God uses our desires to lead us in life (Source).
Dreaming about the future
Before crafting (or reworking) your rule of life, prayerfully dream about your life with Jesus.
Spend time reflecting with Jesus on all the people you respect.
What is it about them that is attractive to me?
What specific character traits or virtues stand out?
Out of all the people I respect, do I see any themes?
Have a conversation with Jesus about this.
Spend time asking Jesus to help you imagine the type of person you want to become.
What character traits or decisions would I regret?
What character traits or decisions would make me proud?
How do I want my relationships to look?
What do I want to do vocationally?
How do I want to be remembered after I'm gone?
Have a conversation with Jesus, asking him to shape your desires to become the kind of person He destined you to become (Ephesians 2:10).
With a clear picture in your mind, create (or rework) your rule of life, and choose practices that will help you become the person you desire.
Still not signed up for the Pause to Reset Newsletter? Join now and receive a free resource to help you grow in emotional and spiritual maturity.