How an innocent question becomes a jinx for life

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

However well-intended this question might seem. We use it to pass on a really powerful jinx. A jinx we have received ourselves when we were young.

All of us, at some point, have been asked: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
And a lot of us, including me, have been asking others this question.

So why is this a jinx?

 — an evil spell
 — a verbal formula believed to have magical force

What the question should do is to spark a child’s imagination. Instead, it stores two really powerful beliefs in your subconscious.

  1. You apparently need to become someone that you are not.
    So subconsciously you tell yourself: somewhere in the future is this somebody that is good enough and I have to grow into that person. Ergo, I am not good enough yet.
  2. There is some-’thing’ you can become and this ‘thing’ is ‘it’.
    Your destination for the rest of your life. But what if the decisions that you are making right now aren’t leading you in the right direction? What if you choose the wrong path?

Once stored in your subconscious these beliefs will make you focus on a place in the future that is supposed to be the desired state of being for you. These beliefs tend to take you out of the NOW and make you long for something that isn’t there yet. For a lot of people this creates a constant discomfort.

The Struggle

I myself have been someone that has been struggling with this question for over two decades. To be honest, I still don’t really know the answer.
Thinking I needed to come up with a fitting definition of myself, everything inside became silent, numb, without direction. There just isn’t something there. And I meet a lot of people, even seasoned professionals, who are struggling with the subconscious idea that ‘mommy and daddy expect me to become someone!”

I was jealous of the lucky ones that seemed to know the answer to the question early on. There was a magical determination in the way they did things. They knew the answer. They knew the way. They knew what they wanted to become.

When I became 33 I realized:

“There is nothing to become.

There just is someone to be.”

How to get there

When you rely on the ‘thing’ you need to become in your decision making, but there is no-thing there, you become without direction. You are rowing your boat without knowing where to go.

Instead, I found out that by focusing on ‘how and why’ I wanted to work or act, that:

  1. I might not know the ‘what’ but I know a lot about the ‘how and why’. Actually I could write page after page about how and why I wanted to deal with things, what defined me as a person etc.
  2. Once I focused on the how and why, my life started to move, there was no more numbness. I got into a flow.
  3. Situations started to present itself that allowed me to be myself, to feel happy and eventually to earn a living.

It made me happy!

So STOP it!

Don’t look for a final and fitting description. Don’t define yourself. Let go! We live in a time where people become many different things and fulfil many different positions in their life. Instead of focusing on the definition of yourself, focus on how you want to work or deal with situations.

Understand these things

  1. We live in a time where people will have many different roles
  2. Knowledge of the self helps you navigate these positions
  3. Your understanding of yourself is an everyday unfolding principle. What is true today might be untrue tomorrow. Go with the flow.

So what we should be asking

If you want people to really be empowered. Ask them questions like:

  • “Describe to me in what ways you like working together with others?”
  • “What are you interested in?”
  • “What do you think or feel is the biggest drive for you right now to make decisions?”
  • “What would you like to experience?”

These are hard questions and there are many more of them. These questions often cannot be answered in an instant. Especially when someone is under the influence of the jinx already.

Or you could also attend one of the Cool Ideas Society open sessions. Book a session with one of our enablers.

I wish you a lot of cool experiences!


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