"What do you want to be when you grow up?" This is a typical question that I'm sure most of you out there have either asked or answered as a child. On Saturday, I was with a group of children that I have met through a ministry I work with in Brooklyn and the question came up. The answers varied. One said she wanted to be a nurse. Another said a teacher while another said an FBI agent. Each child had picked a profession that they could envision themselves being. Except one. It showed in her face that she was pondering on the question and was unsure of what her response should be. Suddenly, her eyes sparkled and she finally announced, "I want to be everything!" What a fantastic answer!... And from a nine-year-old.
The reason why I loved this answer is because it opens up one's future to a multitude of possibilities. When we find our niche in the work place, it is a great feeling. We are doing what we enjoy and the work can bring us some real satisfaction. The mistake that we make is that once we are settled in our career, we sometimes choose not to grow intellectually. We wake up, go to work, come home, (maybe go to the gym), go to bed. The cycle continues the same everyday. Yet, are we growing? Or do we believe that we are already grown up? I believe you NEVER stop growing. If you did, you would be dead.
So, how do we keep growing? When I used to teach in the high school level, one of the things I would tell the students on the first day of school were my goals for that year. One of those goals was to encourage my students to be life long learners. Learning doesn't end once you get your degree or diploma or certificate. Learning is a constant in our life. What do you want to learn or be able to do? Speak another language? Play an instrument? Dance the Tango? Learn how to serve and help people? We need to be like that nine-year-old and decide to never stop growing up.