The Secret Handbook 4 Teens

What Do U Want 2 B When U Grow Up? Why It’s OK Not 2 Know


The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination. – Einstein

“What do you want to be when you grow up? What do you want to study in college? What major are you going to choose? What schools are you thinking about? Any idea what you want to study?”


I know, I know. These are the annoying persistent questions that adults like to pepper you with all the time but I hope, in most cases, we’re asking because we’re genuinely curious and excited about your futures. At least that’s why I ask. I know you understand this deep down but you do get that the world really is yours for the taking right? You get that? You can be and do whatever it is you set your mind to do as long as you really want it and work on it. You know that right?

So here’s the thing. Don’t be stressed out about college or a major or knowing (or not knowing) what you want to do with you life. It’s ok if you don’t know. In fact, I tell people all the time that I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up and I am a grown up – or at least I pretend to be. Constantly reinventing yourself to be true to yourself is ok. In fact, I think it’s a great way to live. That said, you do need to follow your instincts and what your gut is telling you in order to live this way and that means paying attention.

You know how a bloodhound gets a scent and just sticks with it until it finds what it’s looking for? That’s how you should be with your dreams.

If you’re sitting in a class and a little thought flutters through your mind about a goal or a career – follow it. If you read an article about someone who inspires you, figure out why. If you look at a problem in life (big or small) and wonder if you could come up with a solution to fix it, keep thinking about it!

Whatever you do, please please please promise me that you’re not going to do something just because your parents want you to do it (or a teacher or friend or family member). Don’t pick a school just because everyone else is going there. Don’t choose a major just because it seems like a good enough option and you have to pick something. Don’t slog through life and commute to a boring business job that you hate just because you need to earn a paycheck. It’s true that you will eventually need to earn a paycheck but you have the option to make money doing what you love if you pursue it, plan for it and pay attention to it early on.

These are exciting times in your life and ones that once they’re gone, they’re gone. So live big. Dream big. Be present to every moment of every day and keep an eye out for those wishes, hopes, desires and dreams. The fleeting thought that you brush off as just a daydream, might just be who you are supposed to become. You won’t know unless you’re open to it.


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