Living Your Definition of Everything

If you are like me, on many days it’s easy to get caught up in dreaming of the some day when life just totally works out and you are everything that you want to be.

My father, who is an amazing poet, wrote a poem on this subject:


A child can carry on,

Where we leave off,

With plans and dreams

For yet another generation.

My eight year old son

Captures the spirit properly

As he answers

(In response to an adult’s query

            about the future)

“I want to be everything.”

Me too.

Even now.  *

Some years ago, I was the kid in that poem.  When I was eight, being everything meant being able to work in all professions, to be a carpenter, a doctor, an airline pilot, a fireman and so on.

Now I realize that my definition of ‘Being Everything I Want To Be’ looks more like this:

Happiness + My goals and dreams + The activities and circumstances that are actually part of my day = Being Everything I Want To Be

This equation seems abstract, even to me, so let me invite our fictitious friends to help explain it.  Meet Samantha, Ken and Bob, three people who seem to have all.  They all want to be everything and all are in the process of making lots of money.  But which of them creates the confident and content feeling of Being Everything He or She Wants To Be on a daily basis?  Let’s see!  (I’m using making money as the goal that our friends share because it’s easy to illustrate.  As you read on think about your individual goals.)

Samantha wants to be a millionaire many times over.  To achieve this goal she knows how much she needs to make everyday.  But today she only made half as much.  Oh no!

As she’s trying to drift off to sleep after a hard day, she keeps thinking:

What I actually made ($10,000) ­minus my goal ($20,000) = (negative $10,000) and FRUSTRATION and Definitely Not Being Everything I Want To Be.

(Ok, I know most people don’t think in strange word and number combination equations.  Our friends may be a little unique.)

Now let’s see how Ken is doing.  Ken keeps comparing his results to Teresa who is a billionaire.  As he tosses and turns, his equation looks something like this:

What I actually made ($12,000) minus my realistic goal ($18,000) minus what I imagine Teresa made today ($2,000,000) = I’m a loser!  I didn’t even make my measly goal.  I’m nothing compared to Teresa, let alone Being Everything I want To Be.

Time to check in with Bob.  Bob has determined first and foremost that he wants to live his definition of Being Everything He Wants To Be.  A major part of his definition is being happy.  Like Samantha and Ken, he also has a goal of being a millionaire many times over by year-end, and he knows exactly how much he needs to make everyday to achieve that goal.  At the end of this particular day, he only made one-fourth as much as his daily goal.

He drifts of to sleep quickly thinking of this equation:

Today I was happy + I had the honor of making ($2,000) + I have the challenge of working to meet my goal tomorrow ($10,000) = I Am Being Everything I Want To Be.  (Bob frequently comments to his clients and friends, “You know, a huge part of success is actually enjoying being successful.”  He also has been known to say, “I’ve created the life I live today and my creation is good.”

 Now does Bob desire that his daily definition of Being Everything He Wants To Be grow?  You bet!  And he has quiet confidence that it will.  As he is drifting off to sleep, he muses that his definition of being everything in second grade was successfully riding his bike around the block without falling.  Wow!  How his definition of Being Everything He Wants To Be has grown through the years.

Notice that person who made the least amount of money during the day is the happiest because he is focused on putting happiness into his daily definition of Being Everything He Wants To Be and then living that daily definition.  Bob has designed his life so that he is happy today, and will be happy when he makes $12,000 or $2,000,000 a day too because happiness is central to his daily definition of Being Everything He Wants To Be.

 * Something At Last: Dakota Poetry and Sketches  Poems by Jerome Freeman, Sketches by Jean Bailey, Pine Hill Press,  1993

Game of the Day 

  1. How can you more intentionally put happiness in your daily definition of Being Everything You Want To Be?
  2. At the end of each day, how can you acknowledge that today you lived your daily definition of Being Everything You Wanted To Be?
  3. Think of your daily definition of Being Everything You Wanted To Be when you were a young kid.  Think of your daily definition of Being Everything You Want To Be now.  How has your daily definition naturally grown?
  4. Now think in as much detail as you can of what you want your daily definition of Being Everything you Want To Be to look like a year from now?   Five years from now?  Ten years from now?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to


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