Think back to your younger years… what did you want to be when you grew up? What did you think you would accomplish?
Wasn’t it wonderful to choose what you thought would make you happy without any consideration of income potential or responsibility? Do you reminisce about those years with a little whimsy of what might have been? Does your heart still skip a beat when you are reminded of your original career choice?
Our younger selves are a lot smarter than we give them credit for! In 2016, Trade-schools.net surveyed over 2000 people to determine whether there is a connection between childhood aspirations and adult career choices.
Interestingly, only 21.94% of respondents were working in the childhood dream job. Of that, 21.94%, 88.14% were happy in their career as compared to 69.9% who were not in their childhood career choice and were still happy with their jobs.
I thought I’d have seen at least half of the world by now. I wanted to be a writer/reporter traveling to distant lands. I also thought I’d have a lot more playtime. I’m not a writer reporting on a war-torn country, nor have I seen the distant parts of the world I planned to, but I did recreate my life to include writing and travel.
If you find yourself waxing poetically about what you have missed in your life, it’s because that long-lost dreamer is still inside you! Spend some time nurturing yourself to evaluate those long forgotten and sorely missed dreams. What is the common thread?
Although my grown-up life doesn’t look exactly like mini-me thought it would, I am now living those childlike dreams reimagined as an adult. It’s brought new joie-de-vivre to my life that was sorely lacking before. The common thread is found in the creativity of the written word and the excitement of exploration. Even though I’m not doing what I thought I wanted, I have found a sense of excitement, play, and joy in every day as a result of blending the child and adult aspirations. I didn’t focus on these changes solely within my work life; I developed a completely different lifestyle! My playtime includes regularly hiking in new locations to feed my desire for adventure and exploration. All aspects of my work life tap into creativity with human and technical exploration.
If you feel like you missed out on your chance to become a pro-athlete or a ballerina, you may not have missed your window. Put a couple of hours aside and try this exercise:
- Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Or use your iPad, phone, or computer.
- Place your chosen childhood career at the top of the page.
- Write down as many skills as you can, required in that particular career choice.
- Cross out the ones you are positive you are incapable of performing at this stage of your life. Rejected skills can be because of physical limitations or choice. For example, you may love football, but you don’t want to be knocked down anymore.
- Place a question mark beside the skills you might not be great at now, but you could improve with practice or training.
- The remaining skills are ones you currently possess or can learn.
- Then take a long look at the list that’s left. Ask yourself:
- How can you work those items into your life?
- Do the remaining things on your list accentuate skills that you have already developed?
- Can you combine abilities to create something entirely new that you hadn’t considered before?
You may have missed your professional draft years, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be involved in football now. Or you might not be lithe enough to perform Swan Lake with the Royal Ballet, but you can still incorporate dance into your life. Take a moment, review your abilities, and find the common thread. Have you considered a weekend team playing touch football in your age group? Perhaps dance lessons at a salsa club are precisely what you need to soothe your inner 6-year-old.
A little introspection, thoughtful evaluation, and a dash of creativity could quickly change your life from dull monotony to childlike exuberance!
I’d love to know if this exercise helped you! Message me and let me know!