“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Decades later, I still remember the question.  I don’t have to ask do you remember. If you are an American over 20, you have heard it. You have probably even asked it of your children, nieces, nephews, and friend’s children.  Isn’t this where life’s path begins? Where most begin to shape their life? Well, I say this is where it ends. This is where most people die and where they stop to build the grave they will spend their adult years dwelling.


It is the wrong question.  This question leads one to the kind of frustration a boy would experience when asked what he was going to be in life; and he replied a dog.  So he spends the rest of his life trying to act like a dog when he was already naturally a boy. Hopefully, his frustration from living an awkward unfulfilling life would lead him to search for something different: to find something that felt right.


Your search in life is not to find what you want to become, but instead to discover and understand what you already are.  Here are the 5 steps to finding, understanding, and enjoying the passion of life:


    1. Lose yourself – Forget what you have been conditioned by others to think.
    2. Find yourself – You don’t have to become anything. You were born a Thinker/Creator.
    3. Discover yourself – Learn how to think and create.
    4. Express yourself – Be authentic. Relax and see the world through your own lens.
    5. Engage yourself – Address the problems of life, yours and others, by thinking and creating to bring about solutions.


In America, people are driven by money and blinded by its power to acquire ones basic needs to their most lavish wants.  However, money is just an instrument: a tool in the artisan’s hand. The quest for the instrument in the place of the development of the creative is why so many long for passion.  When you decide to pursue a career motivated by a pressured fear for survival, you trade life for labor: and passion for pretense.


Be audacious and throw off the tradition to become something in a desperate attempt to survive.  Realize you were born the master of your universe. Learn to critically think and imaginatively create around the issues of life that serve as your muse.  Implement your ideas in the service of others and experience a life full of passion, purpose, and fulfilled dreams!


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Michael McFadden is a leadership and performance expert; founder of The Leadership Training Company; and author of the book How to Maximize Your Potential. Visit http://www.theleadershiptrainingcompany.com and sign-up for the FREE Business Leadership Coaching 5 Day e-course titled, “How to Achieve the Results You Have Always Dreamed.”