When I was in grade two I wrote a story about the Easter Bunny and a pair of Air Jordan shoes. I did the illustrations myself in pencil crayon. I won a creative writing award for it and it meant the world to me at the time. I made a hard cover book out of that story using a cereal box covered with floral wallpaper. I still have it.
I was a really shy kid, but I found an outlet to express myself in high school – dramatic performance. I was the lead in a couple of high school plays, and I was really proud of that. In one I played Lizzie Borden, the teenage axe murderess who, I might add, I played rather convincingly. I also wrote and performed in a bunch of student council skits in which I usually cast myself as either Dr. Evil from Austin Powers or The Brain from Pinky and The Brain. It was the 90s.
I was really proud of that stuff as a kid. I suspect this is because I’m a creative person and I got a lot of fulfillment out of my creative pursuits, even early on.
So why am I telling you this? Because the stuff you were proud of as a kid means something for your career.
A lot of people I know, especially my clients, are really disconnected from their desire. They don’t know what career to pursue because they’re not even sure what they like anymore or what would be fulfilling. It’s been a looooong time since they knew what fulfillment felt like.
But we’ve all had those proud moments as kids – the things that stick out in your memory as a big deal, the stuff that feels sweet and rewarding, even after all those years.
What were you proud of as a kid? As a teenager? These things may have no obvious connection with anything career-ish. That’s okay. The point is to remember.
Now, I took pride in my Easter Bunny Air Jordan book and my wacky plays based on 90s TV characters, not because I was destined to do that forever, but because there’s a connection to creativity and writing. Those things are really important for me in my career.
If there’s a unifying theme that emerges and links some of the things you were proud of as a kid or a teenager, it means something – even now, all these years later.
It’s possible that somewhere along the way you convinced yourself (or someone else did) that the things that bring you fulfillment are silly. Or impractical. Or not of value.
I know an Easter Bunny in a pair of Air Jordan shoes who would tell you to just do it. I’m with her.