Remember being asked that timeless question when you were a kid, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” I remember my answer went from being a police officer, to a nurse, to a psychologist. All noble professions, and yet, I didn’t choose any one of them. Instead, I chose to let my circumstances take me on a journey. I chose to be a backseat passenger in the car, instead of driving it. I chose to put all my wants aside and just go through the motions. Sad, huh?

So, so many of us had grand plans for our futures, yet very few of us are happily working in the profession we imagined. Why is that? Here are some ideas to reconnect you to the life you imagined:

– Ask yourself “Who did you want to be when you grew up?” The professions we envision are filled with the ideals that make us who we are. Looking back, I realize my values aligned me with wanting to honor, help and support people (police, nurse, counsel.) All through my life, those values have fed my sole and I’ve been that person … I just was not having that as my focus in my career (until now.)

– Breakdown your ‘dream job’. Look at what is attracting you to that profession. Dreaming of being an artist? You must value expressing your freedom and creativity. How about a lawyer? Try on the value of fixing problems and upholding justice. When you look closer at what appeals to you about the profession, the decision to follow the path to that career becomes more natural. You’re connecting your decision to act on what is truly important to you.

– When you are just out there, living your life, what are the attributes that come up? How are you seen? I am a proponent of not letting what others think one should do affect one’s actions; however, if there is common thread in what people see in you, maybe that is a clue to what you need to have more of in your life.

– Get back to what you know. Life happens, right? We all make choices based on priorities, and sometimes those priorities appear to derail our dreams. But, take a look at the road you’ve traveled and acknowledge the choices you have made. And, most importantly, remember: you are always in a position to choose what is right for you. Make the choice to change.

Looking back, I can see how the road I traveled was filled with potholes, road blocks, and traffic jams, but I am here now – exactly where I’m meant to be. What about you?