Adults love asking children, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
I thought about this today because last night I was leading a mastermind for a lady in my tribe. She wasn't fulfilled in her career.
She walked away with a clear solution, but I wonder how she would say.
My first grade answer to that question was “to be a teacher.” Do you remember yours?
It’s an interesting question posed at an expansive time in our lives. The child in us is able to speak without fear of the challenges and with an innocence of possibility.
But this question muddles being and doing together and it lacks some crucial follow up questions to help us get clear on the details about our life path. So, it’s no wonder that many of us as adults come to a point where we feel…muddled!
I certainly did.
I did become a teacher. AND I wasn’t completely happy. I loved teaching the kids and helping them, yet something didn’t seem to fit.
It didn’t feel completely right AND I felt terrible GUILT for it.
(How many of us are familiar with that?)
There I was being ungrateful for what I had (said the saboteur in me!) I had promotions, a good paying job, great co-workers and even a great boss. The child in me was right… I wanted to be a teacher. But the adult in me never asked some crucial follow up questions, such as “A teacher of what?” and “Why?”
If you are feeling a bit muddled about your path (or know someone who is!) now is a great time to ask some deeper questions. Play along with me!
As a child, what did you say you wanted to be?
A doctor, lawyer, engineer?
Now, ask yourself these crucial follow up questions:
You see, the child in me was clear on the first question. I knew I wanted to be a teacher. But it was only when I explored more deeply that I realized coaching was the path for me. I filled in important details.
I love teaching and helping, but I also value variety and going with the flow. Working with clients on their chosen topics and going at our own pace allows for all of that. I found my perfect fit.
So try it yourself! Maybe revisiting the career you wanted as a child will confirm the path you are currently on or will shed some light on what is missing for you.
Let me know if your 1st grader was right or not!