You Can’t Be Anything You Want to Be

by Lee Buford on May 24, 2011

“You can be anything you want to be.”

We’ve all heard it. It’s Motivation 101 for inspiring our children to dream big, to go after life with all they’ve got. Set your mind to it, work hard, and never quit. It sounds great, I know. But there’s one problem: it’s not true.

The fact is you can’t be anything you want to be. You can be anything God gifts, equips, and wills you to be (and maybe a few things he doesn’t necessarily desire that you be), but you can’t necessarily be anything you want to be. None of us can.

Instead, what you can be is better at anything you want to be.

You can buy a nice set of clubs, take lessons, and hit 300 balls a day, and you’ll become a better golfer. Probably. But you won’t necessarily become a star on the PGA Tour, no matter how badly that’s what you want to be. You can go the same route with a guitar or drums, but your commitment to being a famous rock star provides no guarantee that you’ll actually become one. The same principle applies to the pursuit of any other much-desired career, outcome, or perceived success in life. You really can’t be anything you want to be, at least as a direct result of the desire itself.

Instead, go pursue the things you’re gifted and equipped to do. Make it your goal to be better at those things. Cherish the opportunities to leverage your skills and passions for the glory of God and the good of others. But don’t put all your eggs in that one basket…that anything you want to do or be. Chances are you’re setting yourself up for a huge disappointment.

You really can’t be anything you want to be, so go be the best at what you can be. That’s where you’ll make a difference. That’s where you’ll find your ultimate satisfaction. That thing, whatever it is, is inevitably more rewarding than anything.

Whatever that is, go do that.

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