I have often said to my kids (and to myself) that they can do anything they want to do with their lives, but now I’m not so sure that’s the best advice.
After doing a lot of reading, talking and pondering, the idea that resonates the most with me as that our life is not full of unlimited choices. I believe we all have a very specific calling, or personal destiny. Rather than shape ourselves into some personal ideal, our job is simply to find out who we are and become it.
Whether you believe that or not, consider the evidence for this in your own personality, or in that of your children.
For example, I have two sons aged only 2 years apart, and I feel like they have been raised more or less in the same way. And yet, their personalities are vastly different. One is stoic, the other more sensitive. One has endless topics he likes to talk about, the other only speaks when he feels it is necessary. Their uniqueness becomes more evident the older they get.
Even my one year old daughter is showing signs of a personality that is distinctly different from that of her big brothers. It’s not so much that her character is developing, but more that it’s revealing itself.
Some refer to this as the dichotomy of nature vs nurture. I like to think that our essential character, the person we are at our core, is something that is timeless. It is ideally suited to us and our own personal destiny.
So acknowledge and accept who you are, your interests, fears and desires. Don’t let anyone else tell you who you should be or what you should do with your life.
Don’t spend forever dreaming though. At some point you are still going to have to get to work.