Living A Dream: The Question Is, Whose Dream Is It?
By Donovan Grant
We don't all have the same "dream job" in mind. Our society has conditioned us to believe that there are a handful of careers that reap success and happiness. And if you don't qualify for those positions, you are doomed to a mediocre life. This simply is not true.
It may be that a person's "dream job" is working in an animal shelter giving love to injured animals. It may not be the highest paying career, but if it is that person's true path in life, they won't care about that. The joy of life fills the person that is doing a service that they love.
Each and every human being has a purpose on this earth. Every purpose has untold value. The challenge is to look beyond what we are told by society, and find the answers within ourselves.
Let’s look at John Harris, 39, he was a maths teacher and football coach with a passion for sports and uncertainty about his career path. "I loved my job teaching and coaching but I was conflicted. I thought, 'I went to an Ivy League school, I should be making lots of money,'"
John went back to study for a Master's in tax and went to work as an accountant at Ernst & Young. But he still wasn't fulfilled. "I knew within the first month I was in the wrong place," he said. "I kept looking for something that would satisfy me."
When Harris was invited to go on a local radio station to discuss college football, he says he finally found his calling. He worked his way up to hosting an afternoon show at the station and quit his accounting job after just six years.
Let’s hold the feeling tone of possibility
There are 1,000’s of us who have bought into the traditional route for a career. Have you ever looked real deep inside and asked yourself questions like “is this really for me” or “surely there’s got to be more to life than this”. After a while when these questions go unanswered you stop believing in the possibilities for your future. Could this traditional mind-set and parenting styles be passed onto our children? The ultimate sadness is that when we shorten our own vision and expectations for the future we are also shortening the expectations of our children too. Who said parenting was easy?
The trio of society, conditioning and traditions can have an adverse impact on our youth if we let go of our possibilities. The 21st century places different demands on our young people and they need to feel parents connect as their #1 cheerleader. It is essential that they have the motivation and the belief that only a loving parent can give them. Share the message that anything is possible.
Whose agenda do you really have in mind when you talk to your children about their future careers? Are you forcing them down a path or are you assisting them? Are you driving them to complete your own unfulfilled dream? Children demonstrate their passions from a young age and if we are looking closely enough we'll see. Therefore it need not be necessary to force them into impulsive studying or jobs just because we want them to do a certain role. Look at the books that they read. Look at the programmes they watch. Look at the games they like to play. Look at the people they admire. These things can give you a good idea about your child’s interests and just as important, their aptitude. At the end of the day what may be ideal for one of your children may be absolute torture to your other child.
How to parent: Do we need to back-off and give the children some slack?
When children buy into their parents' dream it can go horribly wrong. Imagine the dream of an academic career, going all the way through a Ph.D., finding a teaching job — and discovering that it felt like being a fish out of water! Hopefully, they would be lucky enough to turn my skills into another career.
We don't all have the same "dream job" in mind. When a career choice is not your own desire, it may never engage your heart. Let’s be fair with our children and try not to destroy or deny the possibilities that are indeed theirs?
Here’s a cool exercise to help a child today:
Find a quiet moment and talk to your child and encourage them in their dreams. Be willing to offer your best parent tips on how they can make them real and help them to take action!
Let’s continue see the possibilities in our children and ourselves.
It’s my honour to serve you every day.
Donovan Grant is a coach, mentor, blogger, speaker and IT professional who brings his wisdom of parenting for the last 21 years and coaching clients through the stages of raising youth and empowering leaders with life lessons that are changing generations. He is a passionate and committed leader who believes that we all have the ability to help to change someone else’s life. Actively doing so as a catalyst for many years he teaches how to live a life of success, balance, integrity and fun, whether at work or at play. www.donovangrant.com