When I grow up…I want to be a sheep racer, probably said no one, ever. Yet in the photo above, just look at the joy on those little girl’s faces as they race away. Of course, my animal loving nature does have me hoping that the sheep were having just as much fun.
Can you recall as a child what you wanted to “be” when you grew up?
Quite often when you ask a child this question the response has to do with the type of job they imagine having when they are an adult, and in their limited exposure to vocations, it is often things like astronaut, fireman, teacher, actor, singer and so on.
As we grow up, discover more about ourselves, our likes and dislikes, our preferences, our strengths and weaknesses, we are usually still being directed by our parents, our teachers, and other mentors, to figure out what we want to do for a living. As we grow up we learn about other job possibilities and most often the statement “When I grow up” still ends in some kind of declaration regarding a career or how we think we might make a living.
Have any of you said, or heard a child say “When I grow up I want to be happy.”?
Or how about “When I grow up I want to be whole-hearted.” or “When I grow up I want to be philanthropic.” or “When I grow up I want to be compassionate and full of grace.”?
I love the quote by John Lennon featured above, “When I was 5 years old, my mom always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘Happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”
What I’ve realized in my advancing years is that while there isn’t anything wrong with figuring out what we want to do, however it doesn’t capture the whole picture or touch upon some of the more important aspects of our life journey, such as the lives we touch, the care we show for others, and the love we infuse into the lives of others.
Some people eventually figure out what makes their spirit soar and it may end of coinciding with what they do for a living. If not, hopefully they will still find how they earn their check to be somewhat fulfilling, and in their off time they will pursue their deeper soul stirrings.
For those still trying to figure things out, be it how to be really happy or what kind of career to pursue, recapturing the playful spirit of a child can be helpful in exploring the possibilities. In this day and age is it rare for people to stick with one career. In fact if they are to really seek out those things that bring them joy, contentment and inner peace, they may change direction several times in their lifetime.
Consider role playing, trying on different hats so to speak, just for fun.
Ask yourself the question “If I could do anything I would…”
Consider this fun list in the photo to the left for inspiration.
What about becoming a rock star, cowgirl, tap dancer, gypsy, star gazer, fairy godmother, cupcake spinkler, or even wonder woman?
Now while none of these may be a way to make a living, simply pretending or trying on a new persona, could make living a lot more creative and fun.
Consider the possibilities of what you could be when you are grown up….because whether you are 24, 34, 44, 54, 64 or 104, you still have room to grow.