What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

Remember when you were a child and somebody asked you, “And what do you want to be when you grow up?” You probably hesitated for a moment and then, experiencing the emotions of pride and possibility, innately, in your mind’s eye you created a vision of another you. Maybe you saw yourself clothed in a uniform of service…a fireman saving lives or a doctor mending broken bodies. You may have envisioned yourself on a grand stage before thousands of adoring fans, or perhaps your imagination placed you in a school room molding the minds of eager children. Whatever the dream, it felt real and somehow, prophetically attainable.

That ability to create illusions in the theatre of our mind stirs our emotions and fuels our decisions and actions. Our thoughts continually generate all manner of illusions, presented to us as our experience of life. Some illusions are productive and positive, encouraging our growth and propelling us to achieve our greatest dreams. Others stimulate destructive drama, stifling our creativity and challenging our innate capacity to distinguish our true value and worth.

The important thing to remember is we are the creator. All of our illusions arise from our thoughts. They may be occasioned by an event, a suggestion prompted by something we hear or see or experience. They may arise from fragmented memories, reframed to suit current needs. But external influences and misguided memories only form the outline of our illusions. It’s the quality of our thinking—our state of mind—that colors them in, gives them power, makes them appear real, determines our actions and influences our results.

Our challenge…how do we know which illusions to endorse? How do we know for sure that we’ve chosen those that will serve us best, and keep us headed for success? What clues can we use to alert us that our quality of thinking is off track, and no longer serving our needs?

It’s really quite simple actually. All we have to do is pay attention to our feelings. Our feelings are the indicator, the barometer of the quality of our thinking. Our feelings are a direct result of how we think about an event. Stuff happens. We think about it. The quality of our thinking produces a feeling. We decide to do or say something based on how we feel. What we do and say influences our results.

The first time someone asks you what you want to be, may be the first time you ever have an opportunity to think about growing up and doing something of value. Your first thoughts may focus on the simple wonder of all the possibilities. You feel empowered, and your answers reflect those feelings.

There is the argument that children are able to paint rosier illusions because they haven’t experienced the “reality” of life. And yet, even in the midst of unthinkable disasters; hurricanes that devastate entire regions, earthquakes that bury tens of thousands; even in the throes of unspeakable crimes against humanity, we witness those who refuse to be defeated. When asked how they can even begin to focus on the future, their replies often reflect deep feelings about home and roots and responsibility. It never occurs to them that they can’t recreate their dream. And the only thing that distinguishes their ability to dream beyond what seems inevitable is the quality of their thinking.

The ability to “see” our thinking and distinguish true feelings requires diligence, practice and faith. Acknowledging that our feelings are a product of our thinking, and not occasioned by the infamous “they made me feel…” scenario is the first step. Believing that we all come here equipped with the capacity to create a viable experience of life requires the faith that no matter what, we will always be able to reconnect to our innate wisdom and common sense.

Feelings of dread, fear, worry, doubt, anxiety—the list is endless—are merely indications that the quality of our thinking is not trustworthy, and the illusions we are creating will not serve our needs.

Now here’s the payoff. “Seeing” your thinking is your first clue that you have accessed your innate wisdom. You now have the power to reject those unproductive illusions and this in itself is a major accomplishment. You will be rewarded with feelings of gratitude and possibility and your decisions and actions will reflect those feelings

So, now that you’re all grown up, what do you want to be? Is it time to envision another you? The illusion is yours to create.

©2012 Tracey E. Carruthers
Note: Tracey E. Carruthers is an executive coach and founder of CoachCarruthers...www.coachcarruthers.com...You may "reprint" copies of Clues You Can Use Articles on-line as long as they remain complete and unaltered including this note. Please send links to your reprints below.

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