When I Grow Up

How many of you remember when a parent, or aunt or uncle asked you, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’


Do you remember what you said?


Did that answer change as you got older?  How many times?


Like the majority of us, what want to be is determined by a combination of influences, some genetic, some intrinsic. We develop our passions through learning, reading, watching the TV and videos, listening to music, meeting people, hearing stories and seeing things around us that we want to make our own.


Now I’ll ask you something else.  Did you grow up to do what you thought you would do or has that changed between then and now?


Some people gravitate to one career or industry and stay there; while others tend to develop interests in a variety of things and as a consequence often change what they do multiple times throughout their lives.


Is that good or bad? As long as you’re following your path, all is good.


We’re all wired differently. Some people are specialists.  Others are generalists.  The world needs both.


The important thing to remember is that regardless of how we’re wired, we never lose what we’ve learned before. It becomes part of our experiential knowledge and experience. It makes us who we are.

I know for some with multiple passions and interests, it can get difficult sometimes.  Growing up you’ve probably been told, “‘Why can’t you just be happy doing one thing, like so and so?”   Or you might become critical of yourself, and wonder why you just can’t seem to settle down.


Believe me.  There’s nothing wrong with you. Your mind is just not wired that way.  You’re remarkable and most likely creative, who can draw on the varied skills and expertise you’ve developed, and add  originality, curiosity and perspective to everything you touch. Knowing/doing one thing well is never enough.


In this little TED video, coach Emilie Wapnick explains – quite engagingly I might add, “Why some of us don’t have one true calling,” and inspires those ‘multi-potentialists out there – those who have followed many dreams – to use their combined talents to become extraordinary.


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