My eldest daughter is going away to college this year and we sat down to talk about where she was planning on going and what she was planning on doing. She told me that she had some ideas as to where she wanted to go but no idea as to what she wanted to be. She asked, “How did you know what you wanted to be, when you were my age?” I answered her honestly, "I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.” She laughed and then I went on to tell her that very few people know what they want to be, at such a young age. Many people spend their lives waiting for divine intervention. They wake up every morning with the hope that suddenly it will just become abundantly clear, what it is that they were meant to do. Sadly, this never happens. We continued talking and I posed this question to her. “If you were training a puppy that by nature was incredibly curious and had a keen sense of smell, would you put her in attack school or drug detection?” Her obvious answer was drug detection. I went on to ask, “If the same puppy was a to be a big, strong dog that was good with people, would you leave him in drug detection or move him to search and rescue?” She thought a bit and answered, “search and rescue.” Then I asked, “What if after all the training, the dog didn't turn out to be a good search and rescue dog. What if the dog didn’t like walking on uneven ground or was frightened by large crowds and noises? What if the dog would have been a better drug detection dog and everything done, had been a waste of time?” She paused and then answered, “those are all things you will never know until you try. Some of those things you will figure out as you train the dog and you could change the training along the way. You can’t really worry about things that haven’t happened, you just have to go with the best decision you can make, based on the information you have now.”I smiled and responded, “Exactly, now think of yourself as that puppy. Look at the things that you are good at and you like to do. Head your studies in that direction and let the rest happen on it’s own.”
By now you should have figured out that this relates to all that we do in life.
When you're older and you look back it's easy to say "that's what I should have done" when you're young that's almost impossible to do. I think when you're young a good place to start is to ask your self what you have the most fun doing. What do you love doing so much that you don't care if you eat or sleep. When I was young it was anything to do with art and it still is only something else happened to me that I never expected and now I have a son with autism that I adore and I have a huge passion to want to help everyone understand the amazing side of autism. But still in my heart if you give me a art project to do I'll drop everything and do it! So I guess the next logical thing for me to do would be to combine art and autism! Oh but wait i love cooking too so maybe we'll make it a food, art & autism thing.
PS I have a feeling the girl in this story will do just fine, whatever she touches will turn to gold. She's just a natural to succeed. tia t
thanks tia t for stating so nicely how you feel about the "girl" in this story. i totally agree with you and feel the same way about how natural and easy decision making comes to her. both of her parents have dedicated all their lives to her and her two sisters and it is apparent that their efforts have helped all three of them be who they are today. elle is a wonderful person and a great human being. she will choose right and will be totally successful at it.
you are not bad yourself tia t. i admire you and respect you.
thanks alex for being such a GREAT dad and for sharing all your stories with us dailydumbbells bloggers. lourdes
The girls are lucky to have a Dad like you. Really.
P.S. I still don't know what I want to be. When I got the summer temp job at Assurant (American Bankers) back then, it was the summer right before my junior year in college and I knew I would have to pick a major at that point (all my pre-req courses were done.) So in working in various departements, I asked 2 different people who I thought had great careers and who I admired, what they had studied in college. One of them had studied Elementary Education, the other Social Work! They were completely working in positions out of their field. (And so am I now.) :)
That is what I told my 2 daughters when they both wanted to leave to college, and they did, but you said it in such a beautiful way. Im sure your daughter got the message and will do great. I love reading your Daily Dumbbells. Congrats!
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