Tapping into your inner child – Become curious again!
For as long as I can remember I’ve been a seeker. Someone who questions everything and then (sometimes to my own detriment) says, “Screw your way! I’ve got this shit figured out. Thank you very much!” To describe myself as the type of person who takes the path of least resistance would be a flat out bold-faced lie. I know I drove my parents crazy as a child with all my questions, most of which would follow with the famous question asked by most toddlers, “But why?” I’m a mom and you can bet I’ve had those moments where one of my kids asks the why question for the 20th time in 20 minutes and all I want to do is scream back, “Because I said so!”
Its mind blowing to me - As children we question everything. We want to know why our parents love us, why an apple is red or green, why our hair is the color it is, why the earth is round. The list goes on and on and ranges from the silliest of questions to many times deep and profound ones. If we told our 4 year olds that they need to go to college when they grow up we’d surely be met with the question, “But why?” I’m sure we could all give 20 great reasons why college is important. We’ve all heard the reasons, but how many of us SMART adults have taken the time to think on a personal level about the reasons why our kids should go to college? Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that it’s stupid to go to college, but seriously, how many of us actually take the time to think long and hard about the decision and how it personally will help or hinder our child’s success. My guess is not many. Why? Because somewhere along the way we stopped questioning.
Maybe it was a well-meaning parent who got sick of the constant pressure of answering questions that they themselves couldn’t really answer. Maybe it was a teacher who told us to just accept that there are some things that just can’t be answered. Maybe it wasn’t even someone else who led us to this conclusion that life isn’t really worth the questioning. Maybe somewhere along the way we just stopped being curious because we joined the masses who bought into the life that was the path of least resistance.
Living your best life daily means living your life with passion and purpose - living life on your own terms. When we stop questioning we start buying into the world’s idea of success or happiness. The biggest problem with this - the inner turmoil it creates wreaks havoc on our spirit and really every area of our lives. I’ve met countless people who get to their 40’s and wonder how in the hell they got so far off the path they thought they’d live. Worse yet, I know many 20 somethings (including at onetime myself) who already need to be on anti-depressants just to get through the day. *Sidenote: I’m not knocking mental health at all. I believe there are people who benefit greatly from modern medicine. That being said, it’s time to wake up people! The number of people being prescribed these drugs is alarming!
Maybe it’s time for us to start questioning things again. The masses will continue to do whatever it is they’ve been told to do, but you and I, we aren’t the masses. We need to start asking that question again. Why? Well, because we want to live our best life and living our best life means living a life that has meaning and purpose to us. It means going to college if going to college will help us continue down a path that we’ve purposefully intended to go. It also means not going to college if we can’t see a clear and specific purpose at the present time. It means proactively building a life around your guiding principles and continuing to evaluate those principles to make sure you are walking a path you want to walk. Just make sure you continue to question. Sometimes there isn’t an easy answer. Sometimes the question will only lead you to another question, but it will always lead you to think about and evaluate your life, and that is crucial to living your best life!
Today to live my best life I can:
- Think back (or forward if you are a crazy excited teen who happens to read awesome blogs on growth for fun) to when you were 18. What did you want to be? Have? Do? Are you doing it now?
That’s the easy part…
What’s next? You guessed it…
If you are doing what it was you wanted to do at 18, what drew you to it? Do you have the same passion for it today that you did then? Are you still content with the decision you made to pursue it?
If you never took that road, do you have any regrets? Could you still see yourself pursuing that dream? What held you back? Was it fear? Finances? A lack of confidence? Someone else’s opinion?
- Get back in touch with the reasons you wanted to pursue whatever it was you pursued or wanted to pursue. This will usually help you clarify your passions and purpose.
For example: I went through some different phases, like many people do. As a young child I wanted to be a teacher. As I hit my teens I thought I wanted to just be life guard like the ones on Baywatch (if you saw me in Middle School you’d probably understand – I was not the “cutest” girl in the world). By the end of high school I had narrowed my interests down to either becoming a counselor or a hair dresser. To the blind eye these interests probably seem in no way connected and all over the place, but when I really thought about it the fields are so incredibly connected that I know I would probably really enjoy any of them.
When I go back to the reasons I wanted to pursue each path the connections are obvious:
I wanted to be a teacher because I wanted to help kids and be a leader and role model.
I wanted to be a Baywatch life guard because I admired that they saved peoples’ lives while looking great (which was very important to me during those awkward middle school years).
I wanted to be a counselor because I’ve always been fascinated by figuring out what makes people the way they are, and because I wanted to help people through their own process of growth.
Finally, I wanted to be a hair dresser because I wanted to connect with people and make them feel beautiful.
The common thread for me was, is and probably always will be, I am very passionate about connecting with others and helping others feel better about themselves. I believe it is largely who I am. I care deeply about people and I pretty much always have. I’m also a creative, outside the box person, so I knew I needed to choose a career that allowed my creativity to flow.
- Once you’ve reconnected with your passions and purpose spend sometime evaluating whether or not those passions are still guiding you or they’ve completely evolved or changed.
- Finally, today whether you took the path you intended or not, what are ways you can bring that same passion back into your life whether in a personal or professional manner?
Remember, living your best life daily is about making small changes consistently to help move you toward the best life you can live today, so I’m not asking you to quit your job tomorrow to go back to school because you wanted to be a nurse at one point in your life. I’m asking you to be honest with yourself. Perhaps you wanted to be a nurse and now you are an accountant. Maybe just mentally being aware that both desires were really fueled by a passion to help people will bring new passion and purpose to your accounting business. Maybe you’ve become a parent and caring for your child is giving you the same satisfaction you once thought nursing would. Whatever the case may be try to notice any correlations.
If you are still stuck it’s time to do some soul searching! If you’ve looked honestly at your career and feel no passion or purpose, maybe it is time to make a change. My only word of caution: DO NOT just dive-in head first. Chances are if you’ve ended up this far off course you probably didn’t have much of a plan the first time around. As the saying goes, “Fail to plan, plan to fail.”
Today you need to get down to those tough questions: What makes me feel excited? What am I passionate about? How can I pursue my passion while also maintaining the lifestyle I want? You may have to start thinking outside the box to become a person who lives outside the box!
Remember, you’re never too old to start over or begin again. Ask questions and let the answers guide you to the life you’ve always dreamed of. Make some conscious decisions right here, right now, to ACTIVELY pursue your passion. Live today so you are one step closer to you best life!