When do children stop wanting to be an astronaut, a ballerina, a baseball player or a puppy? What happens in life that causes our childhood dreams to disappear?
Sure, it’s tough to become a puppy when you start out as a human, but when did trading in dreams for something more logical and rational become the norm? Has it always been this way?
These are questions that have been on my mind lately. I doubt they’ll ever be answered, although I would like some insider knowledge on the human-to-puppy metamorphosis deal, but thankfully they don’t have to be. You know why?
Because adults can learn to dream again. And dream big.
I know you’ve heard the statement, “We all want to be part of something bigger.” It’s true. We do. Well, I believe being an adult, regardless of age, doesn’t mean you’re no longer allowed to want to blast into space!
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to be part of something bigger than themselves. If you don’t, then fine. I just think you need someone to love on you for a while, and then you’ll begin to think differently. Until then, I’ll assume if you’re reading this, you do.
It’s interesting to me that so often we turn to our jobs to find “something bigger,” especially twenty somethings. We take our dreams and put them into someone else’s hands to make come true. In essence, you just outsourced your world. Now, I don’t mind hiring someone to repair a roof or unclog a pipe, but there are just some things we should manage ourselves, our happiness and hope are two of those.
To be clear, there are lots of great companies out there that are led well, but unless I’m missing something, there seem to be a greater number of unhappy employees working in poorly led organizations. This is so sad to me. On Monday, a happy, optimistic, fresh-out-of-college 23 –year old arrives at work and by Friday, the fire is fading. A year later, you couldn’t light them up again with all the gasoline in the world.
And this is the beginning of independent adulthood for millions of us. No wonder people say college years are the best years in life. They really are! We enter the work force and bounce from job to job in search of something that makes us happy. I submit what we’re really looking for is “something bigger.” Over time, we don’t find it so we settle. We chalk up our dreams as just that, dreams, and we start to believe that living for a greater purpose is just a fantasy, not “realistic.”
This is wrong. It doesn’t have to be this way, and you can start taking back your life right now. All you have to do is start by asking yourself the question – Why am I here?
Question: What are your thoughts about living on purpose?
This post originally appeared on this blog in Oct. 2011.