What are you gonna be?

When you get to heaven God is not going to ask you why you weren’t more like Mother Teresa, Billy Graham or Bono.  He’s likely to ask you why you weren’t more like you.  Your responsibility and source of real freedom and success is to discover who you are. Lead with your own unique talents and personality. Be authentically you and let God use you.

Remember the classic movie,  Forrest Gump.  At one part, Jenny asks, “What are you gonna be when you grow up?” and Forrest says, “Why can’t I be me?”

Theologian Frederick Buechner once told a graduating class:  “The voice we should listen to most as we choose a vocation is the voice that we might think we should listen to least, and that is the voice of our own gladness.  What can we do that makes us the gladdest, what can we do that leaves us with the strongest sense of sailing true north…?  Is it making things with our hands out of wood or stone or paint or canvas?”  Or is it making something we hope like truth out of words”  Or is it making people laugh or weep in a way that cleanses their spirit?  I believe that if it is a thing that makes us truly glad, then it is a good thing and it is our thing and it is the calling voice that we were made to answer with our lives.”

Can you trust what makes you “glad?”  Could that really be the voice of your “calling?”

“A tree gives glory to God by being a tree. For in being what God means it to be it is obeying Him….  The more a tree is like itself, the more it is like Him….” – Thomas Merton

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9 Responses to “What are you gonna be?”

  1. Joe Says:

    I like this post its hits the heart but I’m finding myself at a loss for what to do. What makes me glad doesn’t pay the bills. I feel an increasing sense of inadequacy trying to find work that fits who I am. I have skills but nothing that can be used to start a business and not enough education to know where to begin again and no money to go back to school……..I just don’t know

  2. Pamela Schwarz, LMT/NMT Says:

    You know, Dan, I was thinking about how my life has unfolded and how I always have been Blessed to hear a clear direction from God. I listened and obeyed even though people would ask “why are you doing that?” or “what will that do for your life?” or “how will you make money doing that?” or even if it didn’t make a whole lot of worldly sense at the time. I am so thankful that God gave me the direction and the strength to fend off those naysayers, even though they were very close loving relationships. God knows why He created me and and what His plan and purpose is for me. What I can tell you as a dedicated servant is that although the world may not always agree, there is tremendous satisfaction and reward from leading a purpose driven life as designed by our Lord. Blessings. Pamela :o)

  3. Rex Eaton Says:

    Good morning Dan,

    What a wonderful thought to start my day. I am part of the “older” generation, just turned 60, and for my whole life I have been and done what I thought everyone else wanted me to be. God blessed me with an incredible wife who constantly challenges me to follow my passion. I am now coming to grips with what Jeremiah was saying, “…I knew you before I knitted you in the womb…” God has a plan and I am on my journey to live the plan, follow the passion and be the man He has planned for me to be. I now, more than ever, am working to find what makes me glad. Thanks so much for a great article.


  4. Dave in Michigan Says:

    This week’s newsletter really hit a home run. From your walk in the snow commute to the quotes focusing on the topic of work, each topic this week was super.
    Four years ago this month my 30+ year broadcasting career came to a halt. Family responsibilities limited my options in that field in the state we live in so I had to reinvent myself to support my wife and I.
    Now at 58 I still feel like a kid looking for direction in life, but we’re making it work.
    So, first thing this morning, under a sunny blue sky, I greeted 8-inches of freshly fallen powdery white snow with my shovel for a 45-minute workout. Next it was off to one of my handyman projects to apply a final coat of drywall mud before finishing the project tomorow morning. Now, back in my home office, I’m putting finishing touches on my lesson plan for the university course on Leadership Principles I’m teaching tonight. Also tomorrow, I’ll spend half the day continuing my work on a course revision for the Entrepreneurship class I teach along with some time for either snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. And then on Friday it’ll be back to my part-time job a Lowe’s serving the project needs of customers.
    In addition I also prepare tax returns and consult with small business owners helping them set-up and/or troubleshoot their Quickbooks accounting software.
    Do I have a regular paycheck. Yes, but not 40 hours worth and what I’m being paid is about half of what I earned in my last “regular” job. Do I feel fulfilled? Yes, because I’m drawing upon vocational and avocational skill sets that have served me well all of my adult life.
    So, thanks again for your articles this week. They caused me to pause and think about how really good I do have it at this stage of life.

  5. Andy Traub Says:

    Joe, I hear ya man…don’t know if you’ll read this or not but know that this…finding your passion and turning it into a paying situation isn’t easy. If it was there would be a lot more people who like their jobs. Just don’t give up trying to find the dream…it’s never healthy to settle. Blessings – Andy

  6. Emily Brown Says:

    First off, this is my first time visiting Dan’s blog and glad I happened across it. 48 Days was extremely influential at a time in my life when I struggled to decide to stay in a demanding, yet well-paying job, or change careers. Thanks Dan!

    To Joe, I just had to add a comment here especially to you because I sensed and felt some despair in your short message. As Andy says, it isn’t easy. And, speaking from personal experience, I can say that the drought won’t last long so long as you remind yourself that there’s always the possibility of tomorrow and that you still have breathe in your lungs. Sometimes it’s knowing that the basic of all basics still exist in our lives, that get us over the hump and through moments of despair.

    By the time you read this (if you ever do) you’ll probably have bypassed this period of career uncertainty and you’ll have found your true calling. In the meantime, I’ll be hoping and praying that the doors of opportunity begin to open for you and that you embrace the notion that you are destined to do something uniquely special — it just hasn’t revealed itself yet.

    Cheers everyone!

  7. James Says:

    Dan..very much enjoyed this post…thanks for sharing…

    I would recommend some type of share button at the end of each blog post so we can spread your good stuff…

    Your work has stirred an action in me to seek my passions…i am working on it!

  8. Tony Hollowell Says:

    I have found that the easiest way for me to find what truly makes me ME is to just eliminate the things that I don’t like. Instead of planting a tree, I cast out a whole bunch of seeds, pull out the weeds, and then step back and look at what is remaining. It is always something that makes God (and me) happy.

  9. Ralph Says:

    In response to Joe’s post… People make finding their true passion harder than it has to be. You allready know what you are passionate about. What are you thinking when you are having a tough day at your job..where would you rather be? doing what? What do you do on your free time? What makes you happy? So many people sabbotage this first step by equating their passion to money. Half the previous posts make some mention of “money.” People say well I can’t do what I want to because it doesn’t pay. It will never pay what you are making on your hated job. At least at first! Do you really expect to go from a fat paycheck on Friday to making that exact same amount on Monday working for yourself? Be realistic. As for me, I bagan my 48days journey back in 2004 and have been following Dan and Joan since way back when they had a Sunday night radio show on a Nashville Talk Radio Station. My workbook looks like its been through a war. I have had to take temporary menial jobs from time to time just to pay the lights and eat from time to time. But i am still on the Journey. I can say I am truly getting closer day by day. The hard part is over; the game plan is in place and in action. Now, I just have to be patient. I make no where near what i did 10 years ago! Friends and Family look at me in disgust and think I am destitute. I don’t care . I found out long ago money aint everything! All I know is that if I had stayed in that hated job,I am certain I would either be six feet under by now, or probably severely ill. It was killing me, eating away at my soul. I was so sick of it, but couldn’t bring myself to just quit. 45 minutes before I was terminated, I was thinking “God, please somehow show me the way out of this.” 1 hour later I was on my way home bursting out with tears of Joy! That’s the fastest my prayers have ever been answerd! As i walked out of the HR office that day , I said with a smile “thank you for blessing me.” And a blessing it has been! I have never felt more alive!Anyway, just stick with it, never give up, unless of course money is more important than happiness!

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