Problems with asking children ‘WHAT do you want to be WHEN you grow up’ | Redefining What You Want to Be and Unraveling the Culturescape: Defining Your Unique Path to Happiness.
Redefining What You Want to Be. “When I was little, my parents always told me that happiness was the most important thing in life. When I got older and went to school, they asked me ‘What I wanted to be when I grew up.’ I wrote ‘happy.’ They told me I did not understand the assignment. I replied that they did not understand life!”
While this quote is often attributed to John Lennon, there is some debate about its authenticity as there is no concrete evidence to confirm that he actually said or wrote these exact words. Nevertheless, the message remains powerful and thought-provoking, regardless of its origin.
Redefining What You Want to Be
Problems with asking WHAT do you want to be WHEN you grow up?
1) Ask Who, Not What
Ask Who you want to be instead of What because ‘what’ implies a job or career, and ‘who’ implies personality.
For example, I want to be a happy, compassionate, healthy, kind, peaceful, productive, passionate, charismatic, creative, and self-actualized being, making this world a better place.
It is OK to dream about a future career, but focusing on the kind of person they want to become and what they want their life to look like is a more productive conversation.
2) You don’t need to wait!
It is never too early to BE that person NOW, so there is no need to wait until you have “grown up.” You don’t need to wait until you’re older to pursue your dreams, get creative, explore and invent, contribute, and make a difference in the world.
By implying that you must wait until you cross some mystical threshold before you can do meaningful work, this question actively inhibits ambitious kids who want to tinker, start a business, make art, or do science.
Thinking that you must wait for a particular elusive milestone can discourage curious and ambitious young individuals from being and doing now – discovering and exploring, launching a business, expressing their creativity, or delving into the world of science.
Read here Talks by brilliant kids and teens on TedTeens.
3) You don’t need to be one “thing”
Embrace the kaleidoscope of your potential!
Some time ago, people might have prepared for a single career, such as becoming a baker or a shipbuilder, and that was the norm. But the world today resembles a dynamic mosaic, shifting and transforming. Many people try different jobs, and even those who stick with one job need to keep learning and improving to keep up with new ideas and changes.
Moreover, the horizon is peppered with careers and opportunities that currently reside beyond our wildest dreams. As the current generation of students strides into adulthood, new professions will emerge, defying conventional expectations. Imagine asking a kid from the ’90s what they wanted to be when they grew up. If they said, “I want to be a space tourism guide,” the answer might have drawn a perplexed look, yet the ‘space tourism guide’ career might be their reality today.
And even if you somehow maintained the same career throughout your life, untouched by the need for perpetual growth and transformation, would such a life truly satiate your appetite for exploration? It seems about as invigorating as watching a solitary star in a night sky filled with constellations.
Redefining What You Want to Be
Once again, the timeless question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” falls short by insinuating that you must choose a solitary career. This is an illusory constraint. Your life canvas can be painted with the vibrant brushstrokes of a multitude of aspirations.
Redefining What You Want to Be
Unraveling the Culturescape: Defining Your Unique Path to Happiness
In the labyrinth of life, have you ever paused to reflect on your journey so far? Have your aspirations become a reality, or have you found yourself walking down a path that was paved by others? The concept of “culturescape” may hold the key to understanding this intricate interplay between personal aspirations and external influences.
Understanding the Culturescape
The term “culturescape” refers to the complex tapestry of cultural and societal influences that shape our identities and life choices. It encompasses the beliefs, values, traditions, and norms handed down through generations. It’s the collective wisdom and conditioning of ancestors, societies, politicians, and religious leaders. It’s what sets the stage for the narratives that govern our lives, often without our conscious consent.
The Power of Cultural Influence
Our culturescape serves as the framework within which we navigate the world. It influences our choices, aspirations, and even our definitions of success and happiness. The question then arises: how much of your journey has been influenced by these cultural undercurrents, and how much is truly your own?
Reevaluating the Past
Taking a closer look at your life’s trajectory, you might find that you’ve been adhering to rules that were coined in an obsolete era by minds that knew a different world. It’s natural to wonder if these ancestral codes, societal norms, or political ideologies are still relevant in today’s rapidly changing world.
Embracing Your Unique Path
So, what’s stopping you from pursuing your passions and experiencing genuine happiness? Could the culturescape have unintentionally anchored you to a life that doesn’t align with your true self? This is a pivotal moment for self-discovery, as it’s your opportunity to reevaluate and recalibrate your life according to your dreams and desires.
Conclusion Redefining What You Want to Be
The concept of “culturescape” shines a light on the often subtle influences that have shaped your life. It invites you to question the rules and norms you’ve followed and encourages you to embark on a journey of self-discovery. By understanding the dynamics of culturescape and its role in your life, you can begin to break free from its constraints and design a path that leads you to your own happiness and fulfillment.
Questions to ponder about
- Have Your Dreams Come True?
- Are You Living Someone Else’s Path?
- Has Your Cultural Background Shaped Your Identity?
- Are You Following Rules From the Past That No Longer Fit?
- What’s Keeping You From Happiness and Pursuing Your Passions?
Have you thought of any of the above? Leave a comment below.
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