Remember those days when you wanted to be an astronaut, dig your way to China, or become a professional athlete? As a kid, you didn’t know you couldn’t be what you wanted. When someone asked, you simply told them: “I want to be president.”
It isn’t until we reach adulthood that we begin making excuses, visualizingobstacles, and giving in to what’s available instead of what we want. It took Warren and me almost 30 years to recapture the dreams of our 8-year-old selves. A visit to Warren’s mom this week in Colorado reminded us how we had come full circle.
March 19, 1979: The Train That Went Around the World
Once upon a time there was a little train and he liked to travel. One day he said to himself: “I want to go around the world.” So he went home and asked his mother and father. They both said, “Yes.” So he kissed them and he was off around the world. He did not get back til March 29, 1979. When he got back he told all friends about the big trip. The End.
It’s pretty amazing that a guy who ended up traveling the world in his 40s had the first germ of the idea when he was just 8 (even if he mistakenly believed he could do it in just 10 days).
You probably have dreams like that, too. Maybe you were a train or a princess or a monster, but you can remember what you wanted so much back then. I read the Boxcar Children books as a kid and always imagined living lean and by my own wits while solving great mysteries. My life today is not too far off the mark.
We are often asked how you know what you want to do with your life:
According to the Center for Disease Control, about 4 out of 10 Americans have not discovered a satisfying life purpose. Forty percent either do not think their lives have a clear sense of purpose or are neutral about whether their lives have purpose. Nearly a quarter of Americans feel neutral or do not have a strong sense of what makes their lives meaningful. ~ The Atlantic, There’s More to Life Than Being Happy
Dream Like a Child
One clue, a start down the path, would be to revisit your childhood dreams. What did you want to do back then, even if it is so fantastical you know it couldn’t happen today? Whatever it is, it will reveal the root of what got you so excited at age 8 and what can reinvigorate you today.
Tell us in the comments: What did you want to do when you were 8?
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