I sometimes hear my kids’ fill-in-the-blank:
“I want to be a movie star when I grow up.”
“I want to play in the World Cup when I grow up.”
“I want to be (insert something famous people do) when I grow up.”
Or their desire for a job when they grow up orbits around being paid a lot, not having to work too hard, and no one telling them what to do. Because that’s the antithesis of school.
These replies almost always fall under the category of “famous.” And so I often reply with the question, “How will that be important?”
I profess they want a chance to make a difference – for themselves, others, and those they choose to serve. Aim for making a difference because that’s important. Notice the difference between “famous” and “important.” We all – deep down – want this. Discovering this truth makes a life worth living.
I want to provide my kids awareness around choosing “jobs” or “careers” or “projects” that have significance, where they are treated with dignity and respect (and therefore learn to give it, too). But mostly, this is the environment where they will receive a chance to exceed their expectations of what is possible. And that’s an excellent way to live life.
What they don’t know yet, and what no kid knows yet, is that the sweet spot for “I want to be ______ when I grow up” is to engage with the people you work with to do work that matters with people that care to make a difference.
The type of people that do work that matters with others who care to make a difference are remarkable people. Those are the type of people that exude something that makes us remark to ourselves or others about them. And that is legacy.