There’s a difference between focusing on what you want to ‘have’ and on who you want to ‘be.’

We can easily spend an inordinate amount of energy focused on all the things we want to acquire, thinking our life would be so much better once we ‘have’ the next thing. Maybe it’s a newer home, or a better job, or more money in the checking account.

But in focusing on all the these things you want to ‘have,’ you can end up neglecting something even more important: the kind of person you’re becoming. Sure, having more ‘stuff’ may be nice, but if your satisfaction in life is dependent on these kinds of external things, you’ll never be satisfied; there will always be something more to get. That, and unforeseen events can easily snatch away what you have, and sometimes there’s nothing you can do to stop them.

But if you set your focus on who you’re becoming, your progress and satisfaction is no longer contingent on external factors.

Maybe you want to become a more gracious or prudent or cheerful or thoughtful or courageous or humble kind of person. You don’t need to ‘have’ anything special to work on qualities like these. These are also the kinds of things that external circumstances cannot simply take from you.

That, and regardless of what you have or don’t have in this life, you still have to live with you. So you might as well focus on becoming the kind of you you want to be—because you’re going to be stuck with you for quite a while.