What’s one of the very first questions we ask when we meet a child for the first time?
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
And kids know the answer to this question. They want to be doctors or firefighters or police officers or secret agents or astronauts.
When we’re growing up, most of us have a grand vision for our lives: We know what we want to do, who we want to be, where we want to live; we have exciting ideas about where we want to travel and adventure, and how our lives will unfold.
Our imaginations run wild. There are no limits to what might be possible.
Everything is possible.
Until we become ‘domesticated.”
We come out of school and we’re told that we need to settle down… and get a ‘real’ job… you know the one I’m talking about… the one with ‘benefits.’
We start accumulating some debt, we find a partner, a spouse; we buy a house (in a ‘good’ neighborhood… with ‘good’ schools), we get a good, ‘safe’ car like a mini-van or a Volvo; we have 2.2 children; we join the ‘right’ clubs and organizations; and try our damnedest to live that ‘perfect’ life….
We work hard climbing the ladder. (Only we’re never really sure if the ladder is against the wall we really want to climb.)
One day starts looking like the next, the same bloody thing, day after day after day. And pretty soon we start feeling like we’re a “B” character in that old Bill Murray movie Ground Hog Day; or like the guy in that old Dunkin’ Donuts’ commercial who gets up every morning at 2:00 a.m…. you know the one I’m talking about: “Time to make the donuts.”
For many, sadly, that is all there is. Because it requires boldness, courage, tenacity, and an audacious spirit to reclaim the grand vision for our lives that we once held; to answer anew those questions so fundamental to our full humanity:
Who am I? And what do I really want?
I shared some thoughts on this all-important mission recently with a group of business professionals.
Pour yourself a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Then follow this link to listen in: Who Are You?
I would love to hear your thoughts and would be grateful if you’d leave a comment when you’re done!