You don't have to choose
Updated: Mar 17
When we are children we are asked, 'what do you want to be when you grow up'. Even at 6 I can remember being asked this question. This is a reasonably, good question as it makes you think of possibilities and have aspirations, which in turn makes you grow. But it crosses into dangerous territories. It links with the question that inevitably gets asked next, 'What job do you want'.
There are two problems with this question. One, it does not ask who we want to become, the focus is primarily on what we do, not who we are. Who we are surmounts to so much more than what we do. How we carry ourselves every moment, what decisions we make, how we conduct our speech and our lives are aspects that should be worked upon and thought of primarily. What we do should be a subsequent result of who we are, that allows us to fulfil our potential and be a pure expression of ourselves. If we don't know who we are, maybe we've never even thought about it, then how can you know what you want to do. Besides that sometimes life happens and what we want to do is not possible yet, or sadly ever. There are a lot of people who feel poorly about themselves because they are not doing a job that they either want, or society deems highly. This is incredibly sad because our focus is so off balance. It shouldn't matter what jobs we have. If someone is kind, has integrity and brings light to the world around them, surely that is the most important thing.
The second problem with this question is that it is too narrow. It limits the possibilities for us, before we can even begin to think about what we want. The reason being is that it doesn't show people that you could have multiple jobs and do many things throughout your life. There are many athletes who once they are too old to compete, or have injuries, feel completely desolate, because they believed that is all they were meant to do and be. Of course, there is a measure of sadness in such circumstances, but it shouldn't be so devastating that it results in a feeling of pointlessness and purposelessness.
We are taught through the education system to narrow down our choices more and more, as we get older. The purpose being that we can qualify for a job. This course does have merit to it, as spending more time in one field allows us to become more of an expert in that field. However, arguably it limits our potentials. There should be freedom to allow us to at the very least think of multiple possibilities. We should have the option for either focusing in on a topic and delving deeply, or for learning more topics shallowly. We should be asked what jobs might you like when you're older? This broader question allows the mind to be creative and perhaps even come up with new jobs, that don't exist yet, which might allow people to be happier with their choices. There are many people who have multiple jobs, or use multiple skillsets for their jobs (sometimes even having to learn more skills as they work). Shamefully this is not taught in schools and the narrow approach is what is striven for,
Nowadays there are multi-passionate entrepreneurs, people with multiple jobs and people who change jobs completely mid-career and some people who don't have 'jobs' in the traditional sense (parenthood counts as a job).
This is viewed as a very modern approach to life, but in reality this has been going on for centuries! For instance, Jean-Baptiste Lully was a famous composer, instrumentalist and dancer, Alexander Borodin was a famous composer and Chemist, William Blake was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. The list goes on and on. It is perfectly possible for you to be and do multiple things in this life. Let your imagination run wild and your horizons will expand. Perhaps, you will do multiple jobs, find a quirky uninvented job, or even just find a side hobby that brings lots of joy to your life. Your passions and interests are there for a reason, don't write them off, just because you think you should focus. With everything there is a balance, there is a time for focus and a time for expansion. If you need to focus right now, write a some-day list and come back to those things that ignite a spark in your soul. You might need them for your purpose, or they might just turn into a great hobby. Whatever the reason explore them.
I hope you find the avenues that light up your life and that you become who you want to be.
Naomi Leila Xx
P.s. Who do you want to become? What avenues would you like to explore?
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