Sunday, May 16, 2010

What do YOU want to be when you grow up?

When I was growing up, I wanted to be an astronaut. My Father was an engineer, so I figured (as a result of watching him) that the best way for me to become an astronaut was to study aeronautical engineering in college. While that seemed like a good plan, it was a totally different story once I got to college. Even though I had straight A's in High School, engineering classes in college were WAY harder than I had expected, and I ended up with a degree in Marketing/Advertising. So much for becoming an astronaut, huh?

So how do we direct our children to become what THEY really want to be when they grow up, without influencing them based on our path, and our talents.

My daughter has expressed several things that she wants to do when she grows up ... a veterinarian, an artist, and a school teacher. All very respectable careers. But I got to thinking futher about all of this while we were at the Botanical Garden last weekend.

I love photography. I always have. I was called the "picture lady" in college, because I always had my camera with me. And I snapped a few decent shots at football and hockey games, that lead me to the opportunity to do some team photography while I was in college.

As my daughter and I were walking around the garden last weekend, I was snapping away, taking pictures of all of the beautiful flowers. And then she gets out her camera and starts taking pictures too. So I start to show her the importance of lighting, and framing your photos, and she is taking some really great shots! By the end of the day she tells me that she's going to add photographer to the list of things she wants to be when she grows up.

I am thrilled to hear her say that. And I think she is, or has the potential to be, a really talented photgrapher. But did she make that decision based on something that I love to do? Or does she really love it herself?

I guess the only way our children really figure out what they want to be when they grow up is through trial and error. Which is evident by all of the people who change their majors multiple times in college (myself included). I just want her to follow her dreams ... and not mine!

What do you think?



  1. "I just want her to follow her dreams ... and not mine!"... so, by following her dreams, she IS following your dream!

    It is incredible to see parents who want their children to pursue their own dreams. One tweet you may often see me send out is "resist the temptation to burden your children with YOUR fears and limitations"... this relates to encouraging them to go after their own dreams without fear and with imagination and inspired action... None of which can happen if they are living through the dreams of their parents, in my humble opinion.

    Great read, Lisa, thank you.

  2. Thank you so much Darren! We just want the best for our children, but sometimes that isn't so easy to figure out!