Be All You Can Be: Don't Choose One Path, Choose Multiple Paths

by Sheena Amin

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked what I want to be when I grow up. Like most people I know, I hate when people ask me this. It’s not because I just don’t know yet; it’s because this question implies I have to be one thing and one thing only.

Exacerbated by the need to conform to a pre-defined social structure, I feel frightened, cornered and overwhelmed every time this question is asked. Some people choose to take one path, find interest in one career and follow through with it.

However, some folks are just lost and still don’t know what they want to become. And, then, there are people like me who just want to do so much in such little time.

While I was interning at a hospital and talking to an old patient, Marco, who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, he asked me, “What things do you want to be throughout your lifetime?”

No one previously asked me that question, but it gave me a sense of comfort and put me at ease. It was not so terrifying to answer because it left room for endless possibilities.

Every single person on this planet has multi-potentiality. Just because we have many interests and want to work at an intersection of different fields does not make us indecisive or unable to stay committed to just one thing.

Choosing one career path and sticking with it for the rest of your life is just a norm we choose to follow.

There are endless amounts of paths available for you to take that all lead to the same final destination: happiness. You aren’t limited to taking just one path; sure, some paths may have pit stops, U-turns and dead-ends, but that’s for you to figure out over time.

Having multi-potentiality means we are still young enough to want to do so much with the short lives we do have.

I mean, think about it: We only have one life, so we might as well make it good by blending our personalities and interests and finding multiple careers we should pursue throughout our lifetime.

Some of your interests will conflict; you will be successful in some fields more than in others. If you want to learn some things, do other things or be some things, go make it happen. Don’t only do what you love; also do what you hate so you learn to do what you love.

Chances are, you will be 100 times more successful and happy doing many things throughout your life. Become the best you can be for the one life you have to live; you are in control of your life and your destination.

Your personality breeds passion. Understanding what roles you are best suited to hold based on your personality is what will make you happy. Understanding that your personality can give you limitless options regarding what you want to be will make you happier.

Choosing to become numerous things during your lifetime will make you happiest.

My mom raised me to be caring, helpful, loving and giving. She has a selfless personality and I’ve mirrored her personality ever since I was a little girl. I was raised to naturally put others before myself.

I can’t tell you how happy it makes me knowing that I have made some kind of difference to someone.

When Marco asked me the question, “What things do you want to be throughout your lifetime?” my answer was this:

I want to be a kid.

As a kid, I wanted to be an actress. It’s probably because I imagined myself playing different roles. I felt like being an actress wouldn’t limit me from being whomever and whatever I wanted to be, when I wanted to be it.

I always acted like the heroine who would rescue people. My options of which roles I wanted to play were limitless.

I want to be a teenager.

As a teenager, I was unsure of what I wanted to be. Being a kid, I wanted to act and take on many roles, but as I grew older, I understood that I had to decide which career path would fit me best.

As a teenager, I became very expressive through writing and creative projects. I started writing in my journal when I turned 13, and when it came time for holidays, birthdays and any other special occasions, I became innovative with ideas for gifts to make my loved ones.

I knew, at this time, I had found a passion in writing and creative work, but I was still unsure of what I wanted to be.

I want to be a young adult.

As a young adult, I became a contributing writer. I wanted to change others' opinions by writing about my experiences and lessons so it might influence their lives.

I also became a Basic Life Support Instructor and taught underprivileged communities BLS. I constantly volunteered at hospitals. I was exposed to patients with different disabilities, developed lasting relationships with them and began to understand the patient perspective, especially after navigating a health issue of my own for several years.

After writing consistently in my journal for years and sharing my thoughts, experiences and journal entries with Marco, who became my mentor and friend, I finally decided to share my thoughts with my community by writing for Elite Daily.

Sharing a part of myself with Marco motivated me to seek a field where I can directly incorporate words and feelings into actions with my future patients as a physician assistant.

I want to be a wise, growing adult.

I realized I don’t need to be an actress to play different roles; I can make that happen throughout my lifetime. I want to be a heroine who rescues people, and I realized I could do that by pursuing multiple careers.

I want to continue to be a writer and express my wisdom of wellness and overall quality of life with others. I want to continue being a BLS Instructor. I want to be a physician assistant. I want to teach my favorite subject, English.

I want to be a photographer. I want to be a chef. I want to be an interior designer. I want to be a fashion stylist. I want to be an author. I want to be a wife, a mother and a grandmother. And, most importantly...

I want to be multi-faceted.

I have so much I have yet to accomplish throughout my lifetime, and so do you! No one is stopping you from pursuing more than one thing but you and the standards that society has set.

Be a kid and make your options limitless. Be a teenager; find your passions and get lost in them. Be a young adult and start pursuing the things you love based on the kind of personality you have.

Be a wise and growing adult, and continue to pursue old and new things you find interesting.

Don’t think you have to settle with pursuing one career. Bring back that kid in you, who cares about your happiness more than anything else.

Play the field because life’s too short to waste all your passions and talents on just scoring a touchdown. The sky is the limit, so you might as well score some goals while you're at it.

Don't deny your multi-potentiality. You have the ability to make a significant impact on our world.

So, how about you reevaluate your answer to the question that should be asked: What things do you want to be throughout your lifetime?