Who do you want to become?

My son in law works at a local university as a campus minister, and he recently posed this question to his students. Their natural inclination was to respond with career hopes and dreams, but he pressed them. He wasn’t asking what they wanted to do, but who they want to be.

That is a very different question, and a good one for young people just plotting a course for their lives. At 52, and as someone who has been out navigating the world of commerce and family for 30 years, I realized it was also an excellent question for me.

Today, few of us have the luxury of reflection. But after running the race hard – for money, for family, for ego, I’ve been given a golden ticket. A chance to step off the career track for a year to discern who I want to be for the rest of my life.

It is a gift I am determined to invest wisely.

Who do you want to become?

Is this another clichéd, insufferable mid-life crisis in action? I don’t think so. Instead, I see it as a precious opportunity to step away from the daily scrum and think more strategically about “life.”

A chance to reset.

My hope is to spend the next 12 months being more present, looking more carefully and listening more intently. To find the divine beauty and truth in scripture, art, literature, people and the natural world. I’ll write and share my findings in the hopes it encourages others in their own search. And then get back to work.

Unlike Kim Kardashian’s recent foray I have no illusions this endeavor will break the Internet. But perhaps it will help just one.

I hope that is you.


Tony Cotrupi is a husband, father of three, and the former President and COO of PARTNERS+simons, a Boston-based  advertising firm. He is looking for what’s next.

One comment

  1. Hope you find what you’re looking for.


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