What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

When your work is tied to your passion, the nagging question of “what do I want to be when I grow up?” is answered and provides a great deal of joy and energy.

by Pete Ferguson

At age 37 I was exhausted. I was putting great effort into my work, but I was not seeing the dividends. I was overweight, out of shape, and heading for depression.

I was continually nagged by the question, “what do I want to be when I grow up?

Luckily, I had some time off from work and I decided that rather than watch television or bum around the house, I spent four weeks investing in myself. I read great books and listened to many podcasts. I exercised daily. I connected with my family. I worked at creativity. And I researched my life to find clues of what I wanted to be when I finally “grew up.”

I found an exercise that helped me out of my slump. It required an inventory of my life to find clues throughout my previous career history and as a child of where my passion lies.

I asked friends and family what they felt my strong qualities were. In my inventory I ultimately rediscovered that what I enjoy doing is understanding why people do what they do and helping them to be more successful.

Over the past two years I have continually invested in learning about how to coach myself and others to find their true passion in life, and I’ve been fortunate to transform into a learning and development role within the same company which is much better aligned with my rediscovered passion.

As you unpack your dreams, what do they tell you? As a child, did you want to be a fireman, astronaut, teacher, sculptor, violinist, President, doctor?

What common themes can you derive from this inventory? Do you like to work by yourself or in large groups? What would your ideal day consist of? What elements of that “perfect day” can you start enjoying today?

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu, Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)

Still stuck? Consider taking a career profile. There are many different types of personality profiles. A very affordable and effective one I found is the “48 Days Profile.” I took this profile and hired a career coach for a fresh perspective.

If you’d like to learn more about the coaching process, let’s talk. Email pete@learnactshare.com.

Learn: Take inventory of what it is that you like to do. Then refine what elements of what you like to do keep showing up.

Act: Take a personality profile, hire a career coach. Set goals to get you closer to where you want to be and identify those who do what you think you’d like to do long term and schedule a lunch.

Share: Keep track of your progress in a journal, and talk to everyone who will listen about what you think you want to do long term. If time flies and you feel more energized the more you talk about your dream, you are on the right course!

Photo Credits, click to link:


One thought on “What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

  1. This is a great post. I really relate to this and appreciate how you share your experience of being burned out at 37. This feeling is exactly why I read “48 Days to the Work you Love” to begin with.

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