What do I want to do? Do I want to sell jewelry? Do I want to give motivational speeches? Do I want to coach people who want to be coached? Do I want to create a university to send people to in order to get them the right mindset for life? Do I want to design clothing? Do I want to create a service using technology that doesn’t exist today? Do I want to write a book? Do I want to write a song? Do I want to make people happy? Do I want to help people achieve their own greatness? What do I want to do?
Honestly, I am not really sure and for that I am not ashamed. I know there are plenty of people who know what they want to do. I am happy for those people. As a father, I hope to raise three beautiful children that know what they want to do when they graduate high school. At least I want them to have an idea that they can validate post high school. I want them to go for a life under their control versus a life of just what comes up.
I also know there are plenty of people like me that don’t know what they want to do. However, a subset of them don’t care. There are people out there that are content on living life as it comes up. If a job comes up they’ll take it. It pays well. It has good benefits. It can put food on the table. In 40 years I can retire and have guaranteed income. All of that is good enough for them so they happily take the job.
I used to be a member of that group. Now I am on the other side of the people who don’t know what they want to do. I am on the side that wants to find out. We all may have different paths and experiences that lead us to wanting to find out so I will tell you my reason. The reason I want to find out is because as I have grown older and had more experience my awareness has increased tremendously.
That awareness has been fueled by my journey down the path of learning to practice gratitude. Let me explain so you fully understand. After I read the book The Magic by Rhonda Byrne I became a committed practitioner of gratitude. In that book there is a 28-day exercise which forces you to practice being grateful. The idea behind the exercise is that it will build a habit. A lifelong habit of practicing gratitude. That is exactly what it did for me.
That habit has continued to blossom over the years since I read that book. That habit lead to me creating a journal to practice my habit every day. I titled the journal Live the Dream. That habit changed my life. It helped me to see the happiness that was available to me that wasn’t surfacing. It helped me learn to experience my feelings as any human should but not to hold on to them and keep me down. It taught me to appreciate every aspect of my life and cement the thinking that everything happens for a reason.
As it relates to the premise of this article it helped me see the joy from doing something that I chose to do versus something I needed to do. This was true in every aspect of my life. Practicing gratitude helped me choose to love my children from a vantage point of appreciation versus just needing to because I am their parent. It helped me choose to work on my health because I appreciate my body versus just knowing that I need to be healthy. It helped me choose to appreciate my wife for who she is versus me choosing to love her because she was my wife.
Gratitude helped me choose to appreciate the experience I got at my job versus getting the experience because it would look good on my resume. It helped me choose to foster my relationship with God because I appreciate the life I’ve been given versus doing it just because I don’t want to go to Hell. It helped me choose to appreciate every dollar earned and spent versus always worrying about deficiency or lack. I could go on for pages and pages but I think you get the picture.
I explain all of that to say that I want to find out what I want to do because I know how much I will appreciate doing it. Practicing gratitude has shown me that there is no limit to the enjoyment I can get out of life. The only limit is me.
I believe by not doing the work to find out who I am and what I enjoy doing, I am limiting myself. That does not make me upset or unhappy with my current life. It makes me hungry to learn more. It’s a beautiful feeling to want to grow and then actually achieve it.
So here I am and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. That question was asked of me when I was young but it was never taken seriously. It was like a check in the box. I checked the box and said things like an astronaut when I was in elementary school. When I was in high school I wanted to play professional sports. When I was about to graduate with my degree in physics the answer was I wanted to use my degree to make prosthetics.
In the end I went into the Army because of my obligation for the scholarship that had paid for my degree. Since I knew I didn’t want a career in the military I got out of the Army and found a good paying job. That’s the path I’ve continued down for the last 24 years. Wow it has been 24 years. I’ve done pretty well and I appreciate every minute of it.
Yet now it is time. It is time for me to answer the question again. What do I want to be when I grow up? I am so grateful that this time I have the wisdom to patiently decide the correct answer. When I answer it, you are going to appreciate all the fruit from me achieving it. So, keep posted because I am on my way. As always, I remind you to enjoy the journey.