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What Do You Want To Do When You Grow Up?

What Do You Want To Do When You Grow Up?
Photo courtesy of Foytography by Jesse Foy

What do you want to do when you grow up?

Are you still asking yourself that question?

I am 39 and may have finally figured it out.

What about you? Do you still long for the days as a child when you would sit and dream about becoming something great or someone who made a difference in the lives of others? The answer came to me when I discovered what was different while being a child. As a child I knew what I was good at based on one thing alone: It was fun.

When you were 7, what made you want to be a fireman, singer, dancer or artist? It was fun, right? As an adult, what made you want to be “responsible?” One word: Money. You were told it actually costs money to eat and have shelter, so you needed to do something more “responsible” with your life.

The fact is we can’t all be firemen, dancers or artists. If that were the case, we wouldn’t have cars to ride around in or clothes to wear because no one would be available to assemble them. I’m not suggesting we forsake responsibility for raw passion, but I am suggesting we begin to look at what brings us joy in life. How would the world benefit from you if you were able to share your very best?

I love to talk. Regardless of the subject matter, I feel compelled to give my input. I woke up one day and realized I could be the greatest blessing to those around me if I did what I was created to do: talk. As a child I was chastised and told to be quiet, and now I am doing it as a career through public speaking.

Based on her current behavior, my 5-year-old will most likely become an entertainer. She is a constant source of entertainment and thrives on attention. She can bring a smile to anyone’s face in a matter of seconds. I pray I never teach her how to be “responsible” and forsake her gifts. Is it possible she could grow up to be the next Lucille Ball or Reba McIntyre or Joan Rivers? Yes, but what are the chances if her passion is traded for being responsible?

I don’t deny the need for being responsible in life. After all, money doesn’t grow on trees, but I would hate to have her grow up, live a life of being “responsible” and look back at age 70, longing for the yesterdays when she could have been doing what she was best at: entertaining.

How can we do a reality check to see where we stack up? Here are a few things to think about:

  • If money were no object, what would you do with your time?
  • What brings you the most joy in life?
  • What could you do all day long and not feel tired or drained mentally?
  • What section of the bookstore do you gravitate towards?
  • When you were a kid, what did you want to do? Are you still waiting for that to happen?

Don’t give up your day job just yet; that’s not what I’m suggesting. I only want you to look at your life and realize one thing: This is it! This is the only shot you get. There won’t be any do-overs. Do you want to look back when you are 70 and feel like you added value to those around you by doing what you were created to do? I sure do. I want to give my all and do what only I can do.

Start today by looking for ways to connect with what you were created to do.

Are you doing what you were created to do, or do you feel like your gift has been covered up by other things that have gotten in the way?

For some great resources on finding the work you love, visit my friend Dan Miller’s website at

About Jeff Jones

Jeff is a speaker, author and the former drummer for Dove Award winning band Big Daddy Weave. Now off the road full time, he is able to speak and write about living life with passion. Jeff shares about his journey of more than 13 years with the band and how life after the road has caused him to reflect on what matters. Whether he's taking bike rides with his 5 and 9 year old daughters or going on a date night with his wife of 12 years, Jeff tries to focus on the things that will last long after he's gone.
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