Let’s fly back to your primary school years for a moment. I’m sure that at one point, a teacher or an uncle has asked you the following question: Who do you want to become when you grow up? Fair chance that you answered this question about your childhood dreams in the way every imaginative child would: I want to become a firefighter! I want to become a doctor! I want to become a ballerina! I want to become a pilot! I want to become David Beckham! (me at some point, not knowing how difficult it would be to convincingly replace a full grown professional footballer as a 9-year-old kid)
Reality faded dreams
I am quite sure that 95% of you do not have the profession that you imagined as a child. No wonder. As a child, you could think freely. You just picked something that sounded cool, something that sounded adventurous, or something your idol did. You didn’t fully grasp what a job entails and what it would need to become that person.
Those dreams seem utterly unrealistic now. They were mere dreams, not taking into account the reality of being an adult and all the responsibilities that come with it. You can’t choose a profession without actually thinking about salary, career opportunities, workload, risk and whether you can become successful in the field. We have rent to pay, bills to pay, taxes to pay.
The younger you was not simply a hopeless dreamer.
The younger you knew what you wanted to become. Before your dreams were ruined by responsibilities, by financial burdens, realistic expectations, rationalism.
Reflect on your childhood dreams
Now truly think of what you wanted to become as kid. If money wasn’t an issue, if you were completely free to make the career choice you wanted, would you still like to make that dream a reality?
If so, what is it about that profession that you love so much?
Whenever you feel lost, the kid you once were might have the answer. Your childhood dreams can be a source of inspiration. Your childhood dreams can be translated into adulthood dreams.
Rallied after desperation
To give an example of that, let me take you back to the 90s. I remember that my brother used to say that he wanted to become a rally driver. He had never driven a rally car. He had never sat in the passenger seat of a rally car. And upon this day, he has never been inside a rally car. His dream of one day racing a Subaru Impreza on muddy tracks against the clock, never happened. His dream was maybe a little farfetched anyway, because there’s only a very select number of people in the world that can make a living out of being a rally driver.
Years later, he was struggling to find a studies that appealed to him. He tried graphic design, he gave installation engineering a shot. But he dropped out all these studies and decided just to find a a job, instead of pursuing a studies that he was not completely feeling.
Right away, he found a job that he really enjoyed. He started working as a taxi driver. This turned out to be closer to his childhood dream than any studies he picked up. He would never stop talking about different car models, which car drove terrible and the sports cars he got to drive as a private chauffeur. I would say there are some strong similarities between a rally driver and a taxi driver. They never use their indicators and accelerate like maniacs when the light turns green. Until today, he is still behind the wheel, although he changed the taxi for a bus.
How I started following my dream again
And if I look at myself, my story is very similar. I remember being asked when I was 11 years old, before I would enter high school, what I wanted to study. Even though at that point I had still six years of high school in front of me, I already had it all planned out. I was already certain that I wanted to become an application developer. This was in the early 00s, so there were no smartphones or app stores yet. But my dream was to make video games.
But during my last year of high school, I deviated from my dream. I ended up going to University to study business and later marketing. Looking back, I regret not picking something like computer science or design. Because that would’ve been so helpful right now. With FreshSaga, I’m back at pursuing my dream. I’ve become the application developer that I wanted to become, even though I still lack the skills of a programmer. But piece by piece, I am making it work and not a second of working on FreshSaga feels like a chore.
I believe your childhood dreams can be a good indication of what fuels you. Even if your dream is just as unrealistic as it was back then, it can indicate direction. It can tell you if you want to work with people, computers or in nature. It can tell you if you are more theoretical of practical minded. If you wanted to become a magician, maybe that indicated you that like to persuade or amuse people.
Nobody ever dreamt of working at a call center. You just have to remember your calling.
Find out what the kid in you wants.
Play the Interactive Story
In the very first level of the Game of Life, you find yourself lost at sea in the middle of darkness. This makes you think back to your past, when you were still in the safe haven of your parents. You start to wonder: How did I lose track of my direction in life? What happened to my childhood dreams?
You are on the verge of depression, but you decide it is time for action! The dark clouds that surround you shift, and a glimpse of the moon outlines your reflection. You are guided to reflect on your past and present, the first step of becoming a better person.