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What will you accept when you grow up?

Photo of an astronaut on the moon.
Did you want to be an astronaut when you grew up too?

The classic question posed to a young person is, “what would you like to be when you grow up?” It’s kind of inspiring to watch those asked this question ponder all the possibilities. “An astronaut.” “A rock and roll star.”

A really good answer to the classic question

One of the best answers I heard recently was shared by design and branding extraordinaire Debbie Millman, who said that someone she posed the question to paused thoughtfully and replied, “everything!”

I like the optimism of young or innocent perspectives. Minds that haven’t had to deal with deadlines, limitations, or the expectations of work and family and more.

How our answers change with age

As we get older we can sometimes begin to perceive that there are fewer choices and possibilities available to us. We can begin to short that ability to imagine something beyond our reach or familiar experiences.

Our thought process can become more fixated on what is practical and possible based on limitations put on us by ourselves or others. The exercise of dreaming gets constrained to considering what we would accept in life versus what we might dare to pursue.

Let’s try to be a kid again (once in a while)

So, once in a while we should try to get nostalgic. Try to dream those big dreams about what we would like to be next in this life versus what role or way of living that we are willing to accept. Familiar is good, but from change can come growth, development, and something new we might not have realized would make us feel more complete.