Purpose & Passion : How my Career Dreams have Evolved
Remember when you were little, I would say grade school, and folks would always ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
You would eagerly answer with your dream job. For me it was always veterinarian until around 8th grade. During high school the question usually changed to, “What are you going to do after college?” Notice the “when you grow up” part is now left off because somewhere along the way people made the assumption that a teenager didn’t need to grow up and should know what they want out of life. And this, in my opinion friends, is where the passion ended and purpose was lost.
As we get closer to adulthood we feel pressure to have everything figured out and plan our lives before we ever even know what life is about. Prime example, I went from dreaming of being a veterinarian to having to decide upon a career as a 17 year old college freshman. I chose to get a business degree because in my mind I could do anything with that and my parents said I had 4 years to get it done. Now I’m not faulting them for my choices, but I am learning from our mistakes of letting the dream die.
See passion allows you to dream, aspire and reach for the stars. You’re not worried about what others think, a timeline or income necessarily. Purpose is that drive that makes you want to get out of bed and do the dang thing. Regardless of what’s thrown your way, you do what needs to be done because you want it.
Now at one point in my chosen career as an educator, I had both. However, I can tell you that the passion and purpose were fleeting. Those feelings were there but deep down I knew my true passion and purpose were not being fulfilled.
Sometimes when I share these feelings people think I’m downing education as a career choice. That couldn’t be farther from the truth! Teaching is an extremely noble profession that many are passionate and purpose driven about. The difference is, I knew I was not one of those people. So I made a choice to go back to that child-like faith of dreaming.
I know my career choice isn’t for everyone and I respect that. I’m not asking you to do what I do. All I am asking is that you think about your passion and purpose and make sure they align.
Allow your kids to dream, always, even if it may sound crazy. I can promise you that one day they will find their way. And as a parent knowing they’re living their passion and purpose will be the way more rewarding than that diploma on the wall. Just ask Paul and Gale Grady. I’m sure they would agree.