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What or Who?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

The million dollar question.

This is what young people are constantly asked.

As a kid, I would have said a professional athlete.

This was a typical answer in my generation. Pro athlete, doctor, lawyer, teacher, nurse, business owner. Now, you can add in answers like YouTuber, bitcoin investor, or social media influencer.

You're supposed to be able to answer this question by the time you're 18 so that you can choose your major in college.

There is nothing wrong with dreaming of a future profession. In fact, I encourage it! The problem is, I believe there is a more important question that is often neglected. We are so focused on what young people are becoming that we forget to ask them who they are becoming.

We teach young people to dream about their future careers and rightfully so. If we are smart, we also teach them action steps on how they can get there. This is all great.

But what if we taught them to dream about WHO they are becoming. To dream of having great integrity and character. To dream of being a great son, daughter, brother, sister, teammate, employee, father, mother, husband, or wife. To dream of being honest and kind. To dream of having amazing faith.

What you become can always be taken away from you but nothing and no one can take away who you are.

Your athletic career can end in one play. Your business can become obsolete over night. Your social media following can become completely irrelevant (look at Myspace).

On the other hand, you may have great success in your career. I recently heard NFL quarterback Kurt Warner say that when he goes home, being the league MVP doesn't mean anything. In fact, his wife didn't even know what the NFL was when they met. When he goes home, he is just a man trying to figure out marriage and fatherhood.

Whether your "what" is going great or is crashing down, your "who" will always be more important.

My football coach used to say, "Focus on the little things and the big things will take care of themselves." This is true in football. Focus on your assignment, footwork, and technique; scoring touchdowns and winning games will follow. This saying holds true in life as well.

Focus on who your becoming and what you become will take care of itself.

Keep on fighting.


We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.

Romans 5:3-4


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Patricia Gunderson
Patricia Gunderson
Oct 30, 2020

Jake, I enjoy reading your journal. Keep up the fight.

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