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Who Will You Be When You Grow Up?

Jamie Martin
Jamie MartinPublished on August 08, 2022

It’s a question we were all asked as a kid.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

You probably had a really good idea back then. You said you were going to be: A doctor, A teacher, A lawyer, A firefighter, A police officer, A mom…

And if you were anything like me, you still can’t stop asking yourself: “What do I want to be when I grow up?”

You hold onto the idea that the question should have one single clear answer. And when someone asks what you do, you should be able to respond with shoulders back and conviction that you are: A doctor! A marketer! A software engineer! An accountant!

Yet, there you are wondering is this really who I am? Is what I do now what I want to be when I grow up?

It was easy when you were a kid. You could dream up anything and be anything. You could change your mind at any point in the day. One minute a nurse; the next the president of the US. The older we get the harder the question becomes to answer because time feels like it is limited. It feels like I had to have made that decision 5 years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago.

You can ignore the question for a year or two after something new happens in your life. That new job kept you busy and engaged long enough to distract you. The new city you moved to had a ton to explore that it didn’t matter. Raising your kids was a full time job.

Now things have quieted down and the question comes back.

What do I want to be when I grow up?

Stop for just a moment and listen to the question again…

What do I want to be when I grow up?

What do you hear?

Read it again.

What do you want to BE when you grow up?

There’s a difference between BE and DO.

You can simply BE you.

You when you are in a place of joy, happiness and contentment.

Do you have the words to describe you?

It took someone else reflecting them to me, but

  • I am harmony
  • I am passion
  • I am leader
  • I am generosity
  • I am depth

There is no title or job description in those words. I can BE all of this regardless if I’m a firefighter or an accountant. I can choose to embody this in everything that I do. And when I consider what is next for me, I lean into these words and allow my imagination run wild.

Because when I am harmony, passion, leader, generosity, and depth, there is nothing that I can’t do.

I can dream the wildest dreams and make them come true!

What do you want to BE when you grow up?

(Originally published on Medium)

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