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What kind of person do you want to be?

What kind of person do you want to be? This is probably one of the most important questions you could ever ask yourself. It is so powerful it has the potential to transform your life in ways you might not be able to fully comprehend at this moment.

The original question

The original question was not what kind of person do you want to be? Also, it was not thought up by me. I only heard it in a podcast and adopted it into my own life. It had such an impact on me, that I now wish to share it with you.

The original question was; What kind of man do you want to be?

Where did it come from?

It originated from somewhere inside the US prison system. Don’t ask me exactly where, because I do not know. Like I said, I heard this story a few years ago in a podcast.

The world of incarcerated criminals in the US prison system is a very dangerous one. Violence and death are very common. The men inside are no friends of one another, and gangs rule supreme. They do not talk openly or share feelings, that’s seen as a sign of weakness and weakness will cost you dearly when shown.

Men in prison

What kind of man do you want to be? That was the question one of the inmates would ask his other inmates. Not in direct conversation, as that would be too risky to ask. He’d ask that question when ever recreational time was over, and they were being transferred back into their cells. When the men would pass each other he’d ask them that question. Not having time to stop and interact, the question would linger in the inmates minds.

The chapel

In prison no where is safe, except maybe for the nursery and the chapel. The man asking would always go into the chapel when they had recreational time. With time some of the men he’d ask followed him in inside. Why did you ask that question they’de ask? Well, what is the answer he’d reply.

The question forced these hardened criminals to look within themselves. Who are they? And who would they like to be? Are those 2 versions of them the same, or are they someone that they do not wish to be?

For most of the inmates the question created a dilemma. They were not the man they wanted to be. It also created the need to talk, and to explore who they wanted to be. So many of the men, all in their own time, would come back to the chapel. Some would just sit quietly, others would talk. Each at their own pace.

Chapel

With time, they slowly opened up to each other. The chapel and the man asking said question providing them with a safe space to do so and not be judged by the other inmates. It created an environment that allowed the men to explore. And from hat exploration, that vulnerability came change. Change of their beliefs, attitudes, habits and personality. It changed who they were. It became such a success that it (I believe, I’m not entirely sure) a program that was introduced in more prisons.

I stared asking myself the question.

Every day, for over 2 years now, I have asked myself that question. What kind of person do I want to be? At first, I wasn’t all that sure. Actually, I didn’t even know who I was. I needed to figure that one out first.

What kind of behavior did I have, and where did it originate from? What kind of characteristics and values did I hold? It took me a while, and I needed to force myself to be critical.

Made a list

I decided I would make 2 lists. 1 for who I was that day, and 1 for who I wanted to be. Starting with the today list, I was quick to see all my best attributes. These are always easiest to find as you pride yourself on them. Didn’t I have a bad side then, shortcomings? Of course I do, we all do.

Once the list was complete I had some insight in who I was at that moment. Not all parts of me were pretty or good. Now it became time to identify what kind of man I would want to be. What would that version of me look like? I did not take into account anything that would limit me, like lack of money or opportunity. I just went full out on the best version of me. This list was a lot more fun to make!

After I finished the future me list I knew who I wanted to be. But how in the hell do you get there? For starters, I knew I needed to keep reminding myself that I have the intention to change. So I set an agenda notification in my phone that pops up every morning when I’m drinking my coffee.

Agenda notification

I did this purposely in the morning before I start my day. This is because of 2 reasons. 1 it forces me to think about whom I wish to become, second it allows me to plan or take actions on that day to get a little bit closer to that goal.

Am I there yet?

No. Haha. It’s a process. And all process takes time. Some days I make big steps, and some I take a step back. But I can tell you that since asking myself that question I have been becoming more and more the man I want to be.

Where I before had major troubles with my health due to cluster headache, I am now in control of that disease. It has gone from an all consuming and influencing disease to a minor inconvenience. I have become very sportive, and am in the best physical shape I have ever been. My confidence is at it’s highest and I have become very spiritual. But then again, I’m still not where I want to end.

Asking yourself; what kind of person do you want to be, is a clear sign of expressing self-love. Self-love is about determining who you are and what your values are. You can read why I think self-love is a superpower here.

So, what kind of person do you want to be?

Do you really know who you are? What your strengths and weaknesses are? If not then start there. Identify them without judgment. And if you can, try and discover why you have that trait. Where it originates from. Because once you understand why you do something, it becomes easier to see it when you do it. And when you are able to see when you display a particular trait or behavior, you will be able to stop and change it.

From there move on to identifying the version of you that you wish to be. Keep asking yourself the question daily; what kind of person do you want to be? What traits and attributes you would like to master? Write them all down. Don’t be held back by your current situation. Money, kids, lack of time, those are all excuse that will only hold you back. Go for the ultimate that you can dream of.

Woman jumping over a log

What kind of person do you want to be? The answer might change with time. Don’t hold on too strongly to answers you have given. Everything is always moving and changing, so might be your answer. Allow it to develop.

Trust

But I won’t be able to realize it! Not true. When you beforehand identify and take into account all the reasons why you can’t, then you indeed will never reach that version of you. That’s because you are setting up roadblocks before you have even started to drive. You need to let go, and trust. Trust yourself, god, the universe. It will happen, but how, is not (entirely) up to you.

Not up to me? To who then? Well it’s a little more complicated than that. Taking action, making decisions and deciding what you do or do not want to do is of course up to you. So yes, you have control. Then what do I mean by let go and trust? What I mean is that you need to trust that things will come along on your path. And that will (if you choose) help you get closer to your goals.

You choose which door

Sometimes these things will be very clear, sometimes they won’t. Don’t worry if you miss one. Another will come along, and another, and another. So just let go, start out on your journey, and trust. All will fall into place. The only thing you need to do is keep clear on your goal; the best version of you!

Enjoy life to the fullest, BEINLOVEWITHYOURSELF!