Mommy, I Want to be a Monkeytologist

Image Credit: strakplan/

At 7 years old, my daughter has decided her life path. She will become a “monkeytologist” and live with monkeys in the African forest.

What did you want to be when you were 7? I wanted to be an astronaut. And yes, the 7 year old in me is very anxiously awaiting the success of Virgin Galactic’s space travel. Then I wanted to be lawyer, a college teacher, and get into politics. Not quite the path I ended up taking. But remember how much fun it was to dream as a kid?

At some point, many of us stop dreaming. We accept that life is what it is and we’ll get a job, go to work every day, and take home a paycheck. Even when we launch out into our entrepreneurial adventures many of us end up creating a job for ourselves. (And I don’t know about you, but some days I work for a seriously crazy boss lady named Michelle…)

If you could turn things around right now, what is it that you really want to do? What is it that makes you feel alive and like you’re doing exactly what you were created to do or be?

Can you start moving closer to that now?

Maybe you aren’t ready to leap 100% into it, but can you just do one thing to move closer to it?

One of my favorite quotes is “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Dr. Harold Thurman

Just a thought I’ve been pondering a lot lately… how about you?

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  1. Michelle,

    I have to confess that I always wanted to be a teacher. Along the way I took some side trips, but I just LOVE teaching and all things “school” from the day I discovered that those symbols in books were words and that words could transport you to wonderful ideas and places. Everything I did throughout my life had a “teaching” component. Now as a publishing coach I’m in heaven, teaching still.

    My kids think that anyone who always wanted to be a teacher is weird. (Two out of the four now work for schools, not as teachers, but coordinators.)
    Flora Morris Brown, Ph.D. recently posted… How to Get Where You Want to Go (and So Much Further)My Profile

    1. Knowing you, Flora, that doesn’t surprise me. You’re a great example of someone doing what truly makes them come alive and being able to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Kick, Hoot, or Rawr — Get Your Social Media Icons HereMy Profile

  2. Hi Michelle –

    I wanted to be a scientist (probably, a mad scientist because I had recently seen one on TV). So I insisted on receiving a chemistry set one year for Christmas. I wasn’t even able to do any of the experiments, it was a disaster. The next was a small claims court judge (Night Court was a popular show when I was younger). I think those were my only big career dreams as a child. But now as an adult, I still have them and now I’m contemplating what I want my next career to be – probably something in the movie/film industry!

    Thanks for making me pull up some great memories!

    Gwen Tanner recently posted… When Your Fans Come to Your RescueMy Profile

    1. What fun! I think I’d probably have been slightly dangerous with a chemistry set as well, Gwen. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… The Insanely Courageous Guide to Succeeding as an EntrepreneurMy Profile

  3. Short comment:

    Good question: “can you just do one thing to move closer to it?” One thing, idea or positive action that can make a difference.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Lee Wise recently posted… Thinking About WisdomMy Profile

    1. Reading “The Fire Starter Sessions” has had that on my mind a lot lately, Lee. Sometimes I think of it as a “sink or swim” situation where I’ve got to just leap all the way in, when really we can take small steps anytime.

  4. I guess I have been “lucky” in that I did what I expected to do at 8. I may not have received the reward for which I dreamed, but I did follow the path. And, the subsequent paths i chose to take.
    Therein lies the lesson- choose the path and not the reward. You will be pleased with the psychic rewards and the self-satisfaction. We can survive and thrive without the financial or political rewards.
    Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. recently posted… Can we tame the terror card?My Profile

    1. Great point, Roy. So much of the reward truly is just knowing that we made our own decisions, followed our own path, and are doing what we want to do.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… What’s Your “Cover” Say About You?My Profile

  5. i never wanted to be a nun :P

    later on i decided pilot would be a great job for me, or a ship-captain.
    at 18 i wanted to be a journalist.

    nothing became true … now i am a graphic- and meadia designer who writes blog posts.

    problem in modern society is … at least in germany … the moment you get unemployed the job agency expects you to take ANY job … no matter if you are trained for that or not!
    this leads in the middle and long run to working people who are unhappy with their jobs, can.t follow dreams (which seem somewhat unappropriate for adults: follow a dream) and work less effiencient.

    1. It is something that we reward in children but seem to resent and punish in adults. While I understand the need to bring in an income, you’ve pointed out something really important in that we’re most productive and efficient when we are doing what we love.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Kick, Hoot, or Rawr — Get Your Social Media Icons HereMy Profile

  6. Kids are dreamers and innately curious, until some well intentioned adult snatch their dreams and squelch their curiosity. I don’t know if it was age seven but I had a “secret’ desire to be a dancer/singer/performer. My parents did not support that life style. Maybe, I should say my dad didn’t. I love to dance and I dance for fun. I have told my children that I will be dancing until I turn 110 … my knees have other plans.
    Adalia John recently posted… Confidence TestMy Profile

    1. It’s awesome that you’ve pursued that as a hobby, Adalia. And I agree, had that “dream snatcher” in my life, too. My fifth grade teacher told me I couldn’t be an astronaut. While I understand he didn’t want me to shoot for an unrealistic dream (since such a small number achieve something like that as a career), it’s something I still wonder about. I would have loved to at least tried.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Ways to Get More Out of the New Timeline PagesMy Profile

  7. When I was young I wanted to be a gypsy woman I loved the idea of colourful dresses and accessoires and dances. Well I became a dancer.
    coby lange recently posted… ”t BrunkeMy Profile

    1. And you can wear those colorful dresses, Coby! :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Kick, Hoot, or Rawr — Get Your Social Media Icons HereMy Profile

  8. I always wanted to be a teacher when I was younger. Now i study Art. I really wanna be an Illustrator. This way i’ll probably never be rich but i really dont care. It’s something i see myself doing every single day of my life. And be happy doing it. MY advise for everyone else: Dont stick yourself with only one idea.
    Heidi19 recently posted… Arowana – a prized investment catch or …My Profile

    1. Hi Heidi, very true–our dreams can and do change as we go through life. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Kick, Hoot, or Rawr — Get Your Social Media Icons HereMy Profile

  9. Hi Michelle,
    When I was 7, I wanted to be an Engineer and now I am an Enginner, When I became an Engineer, I wanted to have an online business along with my profession and now I am working to build my online business as well :) and in whole process one thing is common my ‘hardwork’ and ‘determination’.
    Syeda Mehwish recently posted… Moosejaw Coupon Code and ReviewMy Profile

  10. Hi Michelle,
    My dreams change by the time but you could understand how happy moment it will be if we achieve all of our dreams.
    Pete Goumas recently posted… About NutriSystem Coupon & ReviewMy Profile

  11. Thanks for posting this Michelle, this is a topic that nags at me often, and it’s kind of scary. What if you really did stop dreaming when you “grew up”? Let’s change the stereotypical ‘adult’ and dream some more, shall we?
    I love that quote by the way, very inspirational :)
    Elena Anne recently posted… Breathing while RunningMy Profile

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