As kids, we all have been asked that question. Teachers, parents and one thousand relatives are all fond of throwing that million-dollar challenge. Some would love to hear our funny replies over and over again. The serious ones would test us for our sense of future direction.
Do you still remember your answers? Let me guess what you wanted to be when you were a child.
- Search Engine Optimizer?
- Web Designer?
- Linux Administrator?
Oh, I forgot. Those job titles probably did not exist way back then. Let me have another try.
- Anything, but a teacher?
That power-packed question certainly brings to life a number of childhood dreams and memories. Would you care to join me for a short 10-minute travel back in time? And then for another 10 minutes, a fast-forward ride into the future!
Here we go.
Twenty years ago, you were five years old. That is, if you are twenty-five years old right now. That is one thing I am very sure of.
One other thing of which I am certain is that, at the young age of five you didn’t really care what will become of you in the future. All you wanted to do was play with the gang, eat a lot of ice cream, roll yourself with the mud on rainy days, and also skip that scheduled noon-time sleep.
But then some bad characters entered into the scene. They introduced tense into your past. Teachers, parents and one thousand monsters wanted you to become like them. Or they wanted you to become someone else NOT like them. That depends on who was talking to you.
Suddenly you wanted to become a doctor wearing white uniform with stethoscope hanging by your shoulder and holding a little flashlight on one hand. Suddenly you wanted sing and dance just like Mike of the Jackson Five. Suddenly you hated following the footsteps of your loving mom who was a schoolteacher.
The great pretender was born at the age of five influenced by even greater pretenders who surrounded him.
A Brief History of Now
Now that you are an adult, you should have realized that your elders don’t really have all the answers. It’s an annoying reality. It’s exciting at the same time.
When you think about the future, how do you feel?
Tense? Unsure? Unable to think?
I many ways, I feel the same way too. I’m saying that with all honesty. Did you expect me to say something positive? Perhaps, you wanted a magic formula for the rest of the negative souls to follow? I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I just don’t have it.
I many ways, I feel excited too. I’m saying that with all confidence oozing out of my body. The Internet has opened up possibilities that were not available in the past. It allowed a lot of programmers like me to work from their homes and still have something meaningful to do. It allowed a good number of American companies to reach out to the other side of the globe for technical assistance in order to save dollars and take advantage of untapped talents and turn the partnership into a shared success. It allowed a daring entrepreneur to expand his business into a virtual space and have the world as his market.
It’s amazing how these things are happening! And the Internet is still very young. The possibilities are virtually endless. What a wonderful World of the Internet!
There’s no reason to feel the “future tense” at all.
Back To The Question
So, what do you want to be when you grow up? If you are reading this article, chances are, that question doesn’t apply to you anymore. The growing up part, that is. But something in you keeps saying you have to be somebody, someday. And so you continue dreaming.
Dreaming… Before going to sleep, during lunch, while reading this article.
What do you want to be? Only you have the answer. The answer has to be personal this time. Gray-haired parents, wisdom-filled teachers, and one thousand angels will offer you their suggestions. You have learned your lessons. You swear you never want some ready-made answers this time around.
What to you want to be, now that you are grown up?