When we were kids, we used to get the question from teachers, parents, friends, and relatives. What do you want to be when you grow up? We had all sorts of far-fetched answers. Mine included ninja, mad scientist, elf, and super hero. However, if we flash forward 30 years, most of us are still asking ourselves the same question. If you’re like me, I never grew up (I just got older). I think we need to change the question a bit.
Most of my generation, like the generation before us, won’t consider ourselves grown up until we feel like we’re too old to achieve anything. We’ll go through life thinking we have forever to live until the day we realize our time is limited. This usually seems to happen between the ages of 50 and 60. They call it a mid-life crisis. By then we’ve determined that we can no longer achieve anything with our lives, so we set out to encourage young people – most often our children – to achieve more with their lives than we did with ours. Of course, they are dealing with the similar idea that they have forever to get things done.
The question and focus need to be re pointed in the right direction. We shouldn’t be asking anyone what they want to do when they grow up. Instead, we should focus on the life journey as a whole. By asking “What do you want to accomplish during your life?” we open up the idea that life doesn’t end with accomplishments or failures, but is made up of them. We teach children – and all people – to make an impact every day with small actions, leading to a life of significance regardless of career. We teach them that you don’t have to be rich and famous to matter. We teach them that you don’t have to grow up to accomplish something and succeed.
What do you think? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, and we wish you a wonderful Wednesday! And, yes, that is me on my 10th birthday in the picture. Happy hump day!