Starting With The Right Question

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.

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9 thoughts on “Starting With The Right Question

  1. Pingback: The Secret To Living The Dream « Joel Fortner's blog

  2. So sad how that passion and excitement gets blown out like a candle on the birthday cake of a 4-year-old. It’s hard to find the “higher purpose” in your job if you think you should be doing something bigger that is more in line with your “dream”. I’m reading Seth Godin’s Linchpin and I like how he explains that you can be an agent of change wherever you are and that your current situation may be the perfect platform to transform the world.

    Great post!

  3. This is such a great topic. I really like what you said about “adults learning to dream again.” It’s amazing how life can suck the dreams right out of someone. I think a huge part of personal success is living out your dreams and living a purposeful life.

  4. I love this one especially the beginning, and yes it does tie in with “personal mission thread”. If only we could capture the the wonder of childhood dreams, it would be a wonderful thing. I started thinking about this whole topic after reading Pat Gelsinger’s book The juggling act, Bringing Balance to your Faith, Family and Work. It’s worth a read if you. You’ve given me something to chew on. Thanks

  5. “Living on purpose” is the only way to live. It saddens me to see people go through life as it “happens” to them instead of engaging the Creator to find out exactly what He created (you). Then, armed with the knowledge of your strengths, weaknesses and passions, go do the very thing you (and only you) were put on this earth to accomplish. Good works, prepared in advance especially for you.

    I love that the purpose He has for us is perfect and it fulfills the desires of our heart He put there in the first place.

    Sometimes purpose living can be scary, but so far in my experience, it’s always been worth it. Leaving one job for another, leaving that job to start your own business, moving from here to there. If we’re walking in obedience, the path behind us (even the crazy detours) start to make sense.

    Great post, thanks!

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