Using Childhood Aspirations to Discover Your True Calling

Michael Maman
2 min readDec 28, 2021

In 2013, I discovered an mp3 recording from Tony Robbins entitled “Living Your Purpose and Winning at the Game of Life.” In it, he gives the listener an exercise: Close your eyes and think back to when you were a kid. What did you want to be growing up? What did you want to do? And more importantly, why did you want to be that?

Robbins wanted listeners to pay particular attention to the feelings and sensations that they hoped those careers would bring. For example, he said when he was growing up. he wanted to be an archaeologist. Why? So he could discover things that had not been discovered before and share those discoveries with others. And although he is not an archaeologist today, he said that doing the work he is doing today, finding out what makes himself and others tick, brings the same feelings of discovery that he had as a kid aspiring to be an archaeologist.

For myself, I thought back and listed three different careers that I aspired to be at a young age: A scientist, a cartoonist, and a superhero. The scientist, because — similar to Robbins—-I also wanted to discover new things and share those discoveries with others. A cartoonist, to illustrate different scenarios with humor that could uplift and gladden others. The last is kind of a cheat, but a superhero — to fight injustice and counter the negative influences in the world.

Truth be told I am not living a career that encompasses those feelings or desires I had as a kid — yet, but I believe that this exercise is a useful one to hone in on one’s true calling.

What did you want to be growing up?

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