Question #2 is: When I Grow Up I Want to Be a____________________. (But there' s a twist).
Think back to when you were a kid. What kinds of activities did you play the most? Do you remember telling people what you wanted to be when you grew up? Given a wide open opportunity to do whatever you wanted, what did you choose to visualize yourself doing?
I believe that when we are kids we have an innate sense of who we are and what our individual strengths are. I think we gravitate to activities that are easy for us, and that we are good at. What role or roles did you play act as a kid? Did you see yourself as a nurse, a doctor, a dancer, a teacher, a fireman, an engineer, an actress or a rock star? What did you ideally want to be?
Last spring I had the pleasure of visiting my sister's fourth grade class. She let me ask them a question, and I asked if anyone knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. So many kids immediately raised their hands I decided it would be easier to go around the room and let everyone have a chance to answer. Almost every kid had a clear idea of what they wanted to be when they grew up, and were excited to share it. I was floored. They made it seem so easy. I realise now they simply chose from their strengths and gravitated toward what came easy to them. I have to admit, at the time, I found myself a little envious of their clarity.
It was also interesting to me that they didn't all choose things that were unrealistic, like being movie stars, dancers or rock stars, although there were a few of those, they mostly chose things like veterinarian, doctor, engineer, artist, and at least one boy wanted to work with computers. Occupations that were not only possible, but plausible. It was awesome. And very telling.
So what happens to our early plans, why do we give up on our dreams? Why do we change our minds by the time we get to high school and then again when we arrive at college? Maybe we all need to take the time to think back .
Write down what you remember spending time playing as a kid. What did you like best about those roles? Think about how you view yourself (your skills and personality) now and ask yourself if those early roles were a good fit for you? Were they a better fit than what you are doing now?
In my early years I played a secretary (organized), a teacher (in charge ) and a newspaper reporter (curious writer). By the time I got to high school I had changed my mind and wanted to be a psychologist, an archaeologist and then a television anchor.
Obviously I became none of the above. And yet if I look at my skills and my personality, I realize I align more with the roles the younger me chose. In some ways I have come full circle back to them. If I could choose a new path for myself, tomorrow, I'd be a writer, a teacher and/or a project manager.
I'd love to hear what your memories are telling you. If you feel like sharing, please leave me a comment.
Until next week....
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