Every child has dreams that he or she believes in for the future and when children dream, they dream big. For as long as they can, they hold on to the idea of becoming a doctor, an astronaut, or the future president of his or her country. Some children have dreams that are unlike any other. Korean drama series Fight For My Way best exemplified this as it tells the story of two young adults fighting to make their childhood dreams come true as a taekwondo player turned mixed martial arts fighter and an announcer. There are also kids who seek to make a name in a big city like Salt Lake City in Utah or become part of commercial electrical services. Whatever dreams kids have, conventional or not, they are all valid. But growing older, is it still worth trying to achieve one’s childhood dream?
Struggling to find purpose
One of the common activities in every pre-school is asking the kids what they want to be when they grow up. One by one, each kid shares the story behind his or her chosen dream. Some even dress up in that certain profession to play the part. It’s a good activity for children because it gives them ambition and purpose. It instills the idea that they can achieve their dreams when they work hard to make them come true.
But children are faced with dilemmas when they reach the age of making more difficult decisions. They struggle more and start to doubt themselves whether their dreams are even possible. In a study in the academic journal Social Forces, findings reveal that only 6% of adults end up having the careers they wanted when they were kids. The study didn’t explore the rationale behind this, but the results of this study also show that kids who aspired gender-typical careers “were more likely to be those jobs as an adult.”
It’s normal to let go of childhood dreams because it’s only realistic. With certain limitations in terms of skills or financially, not everyone can achieve their childhood dreams. Another possible factor is the change of interest and it follows that career paths must be aligned with that interest. It’s an ongoing battle for kids finding their purpose because they struggling to settle with who and what they are going to be for the rest of their lives.
Keep dreaming big
One’s childhood dreams may fade but that doesn’t mean that he or she should stop dreaming and be complacent. Life choices can always be re-assessed and turned into new dreams. But as much as one can, achieving childhood dreams is still worth the try. Carnegie Mellon University Professor Randy Pausch is known for his message on dreaming big. In his The Last Lecture, he advised that in order to fully grasp this concept, “we have to allow ourselves the grace and privilege of failing.” Because through failures, one better learns more about themselves.
With the endless possibilities at hand, the greatest challenge for anyone is to continue striving to find his or her purpose. Once found, he or she will be rewarded for the unwavering efforts exerted. May it be big or small, life will always be meaningful when filled with dreams driven by purpose.