Who Do You Want To Be?

An important part of self-improvement is having a road map to follow. In other words, who do you want to be?

It is hard to get somewhere if you don’t know where you are going. Thus, in order to get to the place you want to go to — that is, the person you want to be — it is crucial to know in advance who that is.

Maybe you feel it best to be a good partner, or parent (or grandparent), or maybe a good employee. You might want to be the kind of person who reads every day, or someone who sees the world. The possibilities are nearly endless.

One way to determine which traits you wish to have or to develop is to look for role models. If there are people around you who behave the way you want to behave, try to figure out what it is that helped them get there. You may even want to ask them.

There are also many books extolling one virtue or another. You may want to read up on someone you admire, to see what makes them tick. How do they lead a creative life, or make money, or increase empathy, or whatever you wish to emulate?

Once you decide on what you wish to improve, there is the secondary task of actually doing it. If you think that, for example, punctuality is important, ask yourself: how can I be more punctual?

Reaching your potential, and becoming the person you desire to be requires that you put some thought (and eventually some planning) in place. Who do you want to be?

Related questions: How do you set priorities? How do you want to be remembered? Who are your role models? What does it mean to be a good person?

How Do You Remember Someone Who Has Died?

Death, and dealing with it, is a part of life. When someone you know and like dies, how do you remember them?

The death of a friend or loved one can be traumatic, particularly if that death is unexpected. During the grieving process, there are two primary ways to remember someone.

The first is to remember, or memorialize, soon after the death. Stories might be shared, tears might be shed, and grieving is done communally. In your experience, what are ways that you have publicly celebrated someone’s life?

The second method takes place months and even years after the passing. Remembering what someone was like, after years have gone by, can be difficult. There may be pictures or video to help jog your memory, but even those can be incomplete. And for some people in your life, you may not have any photos or other media saved.

In any case, what can you do to keep that person in your mind? How can you continue to be inspired by them, or be amused, or even just maintain a presence in your life? Is it important?

Related questions: Why are people afraid of death? Does your memory define you? What makes a friendship? Does it matter how long we are remembered?

How Does The Pandemic Continue To Disrupt Your Life?

The Coronavirus pandemic has arguably been the most disruptive event in recent history. How has it impacted your life now?

The early days of the pandemic were by far the most disruptive, as we all struggled to adjust to the spread of the disease. This included lockdown, the adoption of facemasks, disinfecting groceries, a shortage of toilet paper, and on and on.

However, most of the immediate impacts have been alleviated. There are vaccines, and that, combined with a growing familiarity with living in a society with COVID, have seen many aspects of life return to normal. Large gatherings, including sporting events, concerts, and so on are happening again. Many people no longer wear masks. Socialization has increased.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘Freedom or security?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘Is technology neutral?’


And yet, COVID is still with us. While the overall case numbers, hospitalizations, and deaths due to COVID are lower than in past years, they are still significant. Individuals and/or families still catch the virus, and plans are frequently postponed or cancelled even now, nearly three years into the pandemic.

Now that we, as a society, have adapted our lives to accommodate COVID, what do you find to be the most disruptive to your life? Are they things you do, other people around you do (or don’t do), or some combination of the two? Three years in to this situation, what has had the biggest impact on your life?

Related questions: What advice would you give your pre-lockdown self? How do you want this to change you? How has your work life changed? COVID-19?

How Do You Justify Your Existence?

Author Isaac Asimov wrote a series of mystery stories about a group called the Black Widowers. In nearly every story, a question was asked of a guest character: How do you justify your existence?


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss a related question: ‘Is happiness the most important purpose in life?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘How do you define success?’


In the stories, the answer to this question always leads to a mystery or a puzzle of some sort being presented and eventually solved. In real life, of course, there probably will not be a mystery. But we can still have the discussion.

So how, dear reader, would you answer this question? What is your justification for your time on this earth? The question is simple, but the answer may not be.

Related questions: What gives you purpose? Why are we here? How do you judge yourself? What do you do that matters?

How Do You Stand Up To A Bully?

Whether it is on a playground, in a board room, or in international politics, you are likely to find yourself, at some point, faced with a bully. How should you handle it?

There is one school of thought that the only language a bully understands is violence. The best way to deal with one on the schoolyard, as this theory goes, is to bloody their nose.

Of course, this is not universally applicable. If you punch a bullying co-worker in the nose, you are likely to be fired.


Listen to a podcast where Michael and Lee discuss the related question: ‘Where does authority come from?’ We also discuss a bonus question: ‘What does your favorite music say about you?’


Another possible way of dealing with a bully is to ignore them. Don’t let them goad you into an action you may regret. However, if an aggressive action goes unanswered, it might embolden more abusive behavior.

So what is the best way to handle this situation? How should you stand up to a bully?

Related questions: Why do we put up with unhappiness? How can we build confidence? Hold firm or compromise? How much power does an individual have?