Hi Friends! Are you ready for week two of our journal prompt challenge? Great! Let’s do this.
(If you missed last week’s prompt about courage, check it out here!)
For today’s prompt, I challenge you to think back in time to when you were a young child. Then, consider this very simple question:
“What did you want to be when you grew up?”
This might take a bit of mental digging. Chances are you wanted to “be” many different things when you were young.
That being said, I’m willing to bet there is one dream that stands out clearly in your mind. Or, perhaps there’s a handful of related ideas that all circle around one theme.
After you identify that childhood aspiration, ask yourself a few more questions including: “What made me interested in that dream?” And “How do those passions connect to my current life?”
Rediscover your passion through your childhood dreams.
I’ve been spending a lot of time reflecting on “where I am today” in terms of my job, my passions, and finding a work-life balance. And for weeks I’ve found myself returning to this same question: “What did I want to do when I was little, and why?”
Although it’s a simple question, it’s one that I hope you’ll consider today.
You see, in order to better understand your past, and how that past connects to who you are today, you need to remember what inspired you so many years ago.
If we can identify who we were as children… If we can remember what we loved and what excited us before the “I should’s” and the “I’m supposed to’s” became a regular part of our vocabulary, we can better understand what makes us tick.
Because as crazy as it sounds, I’m willing to bet that there was a time when you believed that you could be anything you dreamed of, and those outer expectations held no influence.
I bet that at some point in your childhood, you didn’t have restraints. You didn’t face the responsibility of working toward a “realistic“ career that meets “societal expectations.”
Nope, if you wanted to be an astronaut, a professional tennis player, a veterinarian, or the first female president, there was no one there to tell you no. It was a time when anything possible.
Thinking back: my story
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I had a difficult time recalling these dreams at first. In fact, it wasn’t until I came across an old grade-school assignment that I had a sudden burst of recollection.
About a year ago, my parents drove out to visit my husband and I from Minnesota, and they brought several boxes with them. These were boxes of my belongings that – for one reason or another – remained at my childhood home. (Christmas presents too big for a carryon, wedding presents too fragile to ship, and special childhood “things” too precious to throw out.)
In one of the latter boxes, I found an assignment from fourth grade. We had to write a short story and draw accompanying pictures to go with each page. My book was called, “The Great Adventure.”
Those of you who know me won’t be surprised to discover that my story was 36 pages long (the requirement was 4-6). You see, writing this book wasn’t “homework“ to me. It wasn’t a burden or hassle.
Rather, it was something that I loved. I lost myself in the writing, I drew picture after picture, and I enjoyed every minute of the process.
And what’s more, at the back of my book there was a “Meet the Author” section. We had to write a little bit about ourselves, and then talk about what we wanted to be when we grew up.
My answer? “An author or an artist.”
When I read this answer the other day, it struck a chord for me. Because when I am at my happiest, and when the time flies by without me glancing at the clock, I am either writing content or dreaming up new creations to share with you.
And when I took some time to reflect on the aspirations of nine-year-old Paula, I realized those dreams of becoming an author and an artist are just slightly different versions of the blogging and creating I love today.
So if you’re feeling stuck, or you’re searching for your passion… If you’re lacking direction or a sense of fulfillment… Take a minute and ask yourself: “What did I want to be when I grew up?” “What did I love doing when I was 9 or 10 years old?”
By considering these simple questions, you might just discover a new passion or re-ignite an old one.
Need a reminder to reflect on this prompt for the week? I have you covered. Click below for three freebies! You’ll find a printable to hang in your office or on the refrigerator, a desktop wallpaper for your computer, and an image for your smart phone’s lock screen. Download them here and get started today!
Tell me – what did you want to be when you were little? Do you see any connections to your life today? Let me know below!