By Kathryn Wiseman


It’s an adorable conversation to have with a 6-year old. They dream of being astronauts, doctors, princesses and pilots….

When you ask a 16-year old “What do you want to be when you’re grow up?” you’ll often get a shrug accompanied by a mumbled “Dunno”.

When you ask a 26-year old, they are either definite in their answer, focused and well on their way through studies or training, or otherwise they are still treading the never-ending open waters of “I’m not really sure yet”.

And if you are anything like me, you found yourself at age 36 with still no clearer idea of what you really want to do when you grow up!

I am now fast approaching 46 and have finally had some mind-transforming revelations around what my life is all about. I’ve discovered it’s about “being” more than “doing”. It’s who do I want to be, not what do I want to do. (Image via Pixabay)

I’ve learned these three important distinctions:
– What you do does not define who you are.
– Your performance has nothing to do with your significance.
– Your achievements have nothing to do with your identity.

You see, the truth is that WHO you are, your identity and significance, is all tied up in who God is on the inside of you and who He is for you. You have been uniquely, perfectly and intricately knit together by God and birthed in His perfect timing with a perfect plan for your life.

He has not called us to “be” the things we do – our careers and talents. He has not called us to perform, nor to achieve.

Those things are certainly not bad, but when they become the way by which we define ourselves, when they become our identity…that’s when the wheels can easily fall off.

He has indeed called us to “be”. He has called us to be love, to bear fruit and to follow Him. What a pleasure. What a relief!

When I can focus my day on being love to my world and on the kind of fruit I bear, rather than on my performance, (and yes, it is certainly a work in progress for me!!!) then the striving, the chaos and the pressures seem to fade. I can stop trying to achieve so hard, to perform for approval and to be successful.

I’ve also discovered that when I spend time delighting myself in Him, He gives me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4) and then He grants to me according to my heart’s desires and fulfills my plans (Psalm 20:4).

I find when spending time with Him, that His plans for me become my own heart’s desires. I’ve discovered that ever since accepting Him and being born anew, the desires deep in my heart have been intricately woven into me by Him. The things I truly desire to do (like writing to inspire others to live the life God has designed them for) have been desires that God has woven into my unique plan and purpose.

So, now when I’m asked the question: “What do you want to do with your life?”, my answer is this: I want to be love. I want to bear fruit. I want to pursue the desires in me that point to the exact purposes and plans that God has for me.

Join Tawny the eagle in my latest book Hiding in the Shade as he discovers who he is and that his heart’s desire to do “eagle things” is exactly what he has been created for.


This post was written by author Kathryn Wiseman.

Kathryn is the author of Hiding in the Shade: Discover Your Purpose. Follow Your Dreams.