Children view the world with an uninterrupted sense of wonder and awe.
When we are young enough to allow our imaginations to run free and take us to places we could never visit as adults, we realize, at our core, what it is we love. Children devote free time, playtime and daydreams to these thoughts and desires, with such passion that the imagination feels real.
Why do we grow out of this? This could be the clue to finding out what we truly love and want as adults. Why, then, do we give up our childhood dreams?
Of course I am not talking about the wildly unrealistic dreams. For example, I thought for sure I would be the next Britney Spears with hit singles blaring on the radio. The only problem was, I couldn't sing.
I also loved stories, reading and writing. I would spend hours writing “books” and putting together makeshift magazines out of binders and clippings. I wrote entire scripts to plays which I insisted my friends act out with me. I just loved writing and creating.
As time went on, I began to start to thinking "sensibly.” What would be a good job for my future? What is safe? What is the best choice for my future family? With questions like these, I started to lose focus of my passion and enrolled in school as an education major to pursue a future in teaching.
Teaching is a wonderful career: good vacation time, fulfilling days and ideal for someone hoping to some day have a family. Still, the more I pressed forward with classes, the more I realized that something was missing.
I looked back on my life and pictured my younger self sitting at the computer writing endless books, stories, scripts and magazine articles. I took this vision and adjusted my goals around my passions rather than the mundane questions I was asking myself.
I started to pursue writing by studying journalism, and a part of me that had been missing returned.
Childhood dreams should not be dismissed and put away like old toys, but rather, embraced. This embrace brings joy, relieves stress and can lead to a fulfilling lifestyle and hopefully a career.
Unfortunately, there are factors in life as we grow that push and pull us in all different directions. I attribute the abandonment of our childhood dreams, and quiet possibly our life’s purpose, to the following distractions:
1) Outside Voices
As we grow up, parents, teachers and others we look up to are constantly advising us on the direction our lives should go in. The notion of “hard work” being the only way to succeed is drummed into our subconscious.
Our childhood dreams can become victim to the preplanned road to success society has established. Our conscious mind believes that our childhood dreams could not possibly lead to success, since it lacks the feel of hard work.
Often our dreams are not immediately lucrative. However, if you’re doing what you love and are passionate about it, you cannot go wrong. Your dreams have a place in reality. When you enlighten the world with your dreams, your rewards become unquantifiable.
Like the test scores that predict our future, society tends to keep a score of success with a number system called money.
There is an innate fear of letting outside voices interfere with our dreams. This fear is born of the worry that they will try to assign a monetary value to it. It is the subconscious which reminds us that assembling the dreamscape did not seem like hard work so it must lack value.
The “safe” road leads to occupations people are not thrilled about, and we are all deprived of the dreamscapes that our passions would have created. I am sure that childhood dreams fulfilled light the world. It is from this light that we revisit the wonder and awe of our childhood.
So whether you were always taking care of your “sick” dolls, gazing into space imagining what was out there, teaching your younger family members, or like me, writing up a storm, take notes from your childhood self; you were on to something.
Photo via We Heart It