When I grow up I want to be a……..
How often do we hear children say things like ‘when I grow up I’m going to be a nurse like Mummy or a Fireman like my Daddy’,
Very few children have the concept of goals and dreams, the opportunities or possibilities which will present themselves as we grow and sadly in all too many cases it doesn’t register (until later if at all) that just because our parents/grandparents were shop keepers, plumbers, lawyers or brain surgeons even…it doesn’t mean that we have to go into the family business,
Make No Mistake About It
As tends to be the way our paths, circumstances and most certainly our lives in our formative and educational years are usually but sadly not always fairly mapped out for us. Often by well-meaning but misguided responsible adults and sometimes by the not so responsible, controlling, ego driven adults who either want to live vicariously through us or have us be a carbon copy of them.
It doesn’t have to be that way!
Up to a point there is very little if anything we can do about it whilst we’re growing…if we’re lucky we will be reared in an environment where we are at an early age afforded the opportunity to learn about the power of choice and the responsibility that comes with it. If not hopefully we’ll learn sooner rather than later that the power of choice is not only inherent in us all it is part of our basic human rights from the time we are able to communicate effectively.
For instance whilst getting my granddaughter ready to go out recently she was adamant that she wasn’t wearing a coat to go outside in despite freezing temperatures. I opted to explain the choices she had…1) wear the coat thus remaining warm 2) don’t wear the coat running the risk of being freezing cold. Now at 4 she is in my opinion old enough to know the difference between the two choices and understand the consequences of both. After thinking about it she chose not to wear the coat. Accepting her decision I told her that was fine but I would take it along anyway so she could wear it if she changed her mind. Ten minutes later we were outside coatless but within three minutes she was warm, wrapped up in not only her coat but scarf & gloves having realised she’d made the wrong choice. All without trauma, confrontation or the what did I tell you syndrome.
The lesson here for both of us was that in being given a choice at the age of 4 (and to be honest that’s the way we try to work) our granddaughter has learned early on that when faced with a decision the choice is hers but so are the consequences and that’s her responsibility.
We can’t blame ourselves for not knowing
If we grow up without ever being given the opportunity of choice & understanding that each one comes with the prospect of changing our reality then we do in effect become programmed to accept that things are just the way they are. In my family for instance both my grandfathers were miners, as were theirs, my father was a miner and perhaps unsurprisingly my brother became a miner, It became a self-perpetuating family tradition, one that was never questioned. It was just what the men in the family did!
Thankfully these days we are more open to and accepting of a persons right to choose who and what they wish to be. Sadly though we still bow to the universally accepted premise that ‘Mum & Dad know best’…now obviously in some instances that is very definitely true. Especially when it comes to keeping young people safe but I seriously question that ethos particularly when it comes to both educational & lifestyle choices…essentially the cornerstones of what will become our adult life,
Understand that you can be whoever and whatever you want to be
The hard part for many of us as we struggle to find our identity, establish the career we want, live with or marry the partner of our dreams is that we spend far too much time people pleasing, not wanting to upset those we love and putting ourselves second if not last on our own list of priorities.
Remember this…This life of ours is just that… ours! We have one shot at getting our time here on this mortal coil to be the best experience for us that it can. We have a right to be happy. We have an equally important right to love & be loved unconditionally and we most definitely have the right to live our life in our own way, on our own terms without ever having to explain, excuse or justify ourselves, Ever!
When others, especially your nearest & dearest take exception to the choices you make…regardless of what they are; lifestyle, religion, career, anything at all….which they will. Bear in mind that although they will largely be coming from a place of love & concern, they will also be afraid both for the impact your decision will have on you and often how it will impact on them..what will the neighbours think?
But never forget that staying true to yourself, your wishes and dreams is your responsibility how others react to that is theirs.
Do you want something badly enough?
The general rule of thumb is; if you want something (no matter what) you will find a way to make it work. If you don’t? You’ll find an excuse…usually a pretty lame one…to justify your choice (there’s that word again)…how many times have you convinced yourself let alone others that you have a justified reason for not fulfilling your dream?
I’m not good enough. I don’t have the time. It was a stupid idea anyway!
Wrong! Wrong oh and errr Wrong!!! – No matter who or what you are?
You are very definitely good enough to do/be whatever the hell you want to…period! Others no matter who they are don’t have the right to make that judgement. If they do then walk away, we none of us need anything other than the love and support of those who matter to us. As Dr Seuss very succinctly put it…’Those who matter, don’t mind. Those who mind don’t matter’!
Time is both a blessing and a curse but if you really believe that time is short, weigh up how long each day you spend on social media, watching TV, window shopping, day dreaming…then tell yourself you don’t have time. I actively chose not to watch TV for a month in January this year just to see how much more I could get done in a day, let alone a week. The result? I gained 4 hours per day or just over one whole day per week to spend doing other more productive things…with the exception of an odd film..I haven’t watched TV since…everything is relative guys!
Thoughts become ideas, ideas become dreams, dreams can become reality..if they don’t? It doesn’t mean it was a stupid idea in the first place just that there’s probably a different way of getting there..if Michael Faraday hadn’t persevered, our concept of electricity today may well be very different indeed!
Finally I would say just one more thing ;
The difference between who you are & who you want to be is…what you do. Your choice. Your Life. Live it your way!
Thanks for reading whatever you chose…be happy! Namaste… Sue