What Will You Want To Become When You Grow Up?

I was watching Iyinoluwa Aboyeji TEDx Talk titled “When will Africa’s Elite Grow Up?” sharing his personal experience and answers to the general and career choice question people asks us when we are still young, “What will you want to become when you grow up?” According to him, his first choice was to become a Taxi Driver because his Dad use that means to complement his not enough take home pay during the SAP economic hardship time. The reason behind that choice is because every time his dad completes his part of agreement of taking the passenger to agreed destination, they immediately gave him cash. When his parents and friends make jest of him for such career choice, he quickly switch to made another choice of becoming a policeman because he saw his father gave much of the money made before getting home to the police officers.

In his context, the reason he shared the story is to illustrate how our choice of career and achievement is determined by our selfish interest of money and becoming one successful person out of hundreds, thousands and millions of people among family, friends and our community. While I am writing out of that perception, I drew inspiration from it to share how our environment influence what we will eventually become when we grow up more than whether we are educated or not.

Let me share my own story, as we all do and will be interesting if you can relate yours to gain the wisdom in this piece. In my primary school days, I severally boosted among friends when the issue of career or related ones is our point of discussion to become a policeman. Although, the reason behind my choice as a village boy is different from that of Iyin, my reason is the love for my Mum and my inability to withstand people messing up with her. So I wanted to become policeman, so that I can easily arrest anyone that messes up with her, simple. You ask if my environment influence that choice. Yes, but I will not be able to share the full details in other not to distort the purpose of my discussion.

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Our Environment: The First, Practical and Deep Rooted Education

Things are getting worst in term of education at this modern, jet or call it digital age. While the wise ones are aware of this, majority and most especially the middle class are seriously being affected. In Iyin Aboyeji context, our selfishness is still ruling our decision of achievement. We are causing much damage to our children thinking we are helping them. We delegates the role of parenting of given our children a sound foundation to people and the general environment, believing the money is important to take care of them much than the time we will spent to lead them right.

My students will testify to how I freely talk about how the environment influence how we think and how we eventually subject to it in term of career choice and how we measure our achievement. Of course, I always suggested different approaches and solutions to handle it. Few of them are able to utilize the advice, while majority still found such ideology to be against their deep-rooted believe and experience passed down to them by parents, relatives neighbour, friends and the general society . I am not expecting less, which is caused by years of orientation and believe influenced by environment.

I am a victim of the same situation but fortunately came across personal development materials at my 20’s that become my favourite sources of education, knowledge and re-orientation with over 10 years struggle that witness fluctuation. That is the problem with changing an old ideology that we so much believe to be the way.

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Overcoming the Challenge

What will you do, if you find yourself in an environment that post treats to your future and or that of your children?

The answer to this question is never a one cap fit all. The reason is because; resources, parents, stages, access to the virtual world (internet) and many more will determine what to do. Below are some suggestions that one of it will be a solution to withstand the challenges your environment may have on your career and personal development.

  1. Naturally, everyone will suggest you change your environment if you share with them how your present place of abode is affecting you or your children ways of life as against the goals and dream you have. But what if the resources is not available immediately or for a while, then;
  2. Fill your world with what you want, read and listen to audio and watch video that will influence you towards your desired future. Let that be one of your major investments. And be ready to;
  3. Create your desired environment within the same environment. You should be ready to leave an exclusive live, interact less with people who could be negative influence and surround yourself with people of like minds. Better still, be ready to become an influencer and what if you could turn it to become a productive and profitable or social reform or reorientation activities. And don’t forget;
  4. The virtual world: Today, the social media influence people more than the physical world. If you have access to the virtual world and regularly visit social media, be choosy of the people you are to your friend list. It’s not about knowing each other or related, it is about the influence they will have on you and your dream; negative or positive.
  5. Be the mentor or choose a mentor for yourself or your children/guardian, that will guide and answer questions of influence rather than asking such questions from people within the same environment who have little to nothing to offer.
  6. Find and join group of people of like minds or create one.

The issue is really worrisome, the general believe that we are backward in Africa because of poverty is not well conceived. My reason for disregarding this notion is because of our belief and ways of life which need a total change. Even individually, our focuses determine our achievement and our future. If we have the orientation of investing the little we have today and ready to delay the gratification, poverty that is believed to be the determinant of our backwardness will vanished within a twinkling of eyes.

If the environment you find yourself is not conducive to achieve your dream and your resources is not enough to move, then, invest the little you have in resources that will stimulate your consciousness towards your dream, focus and gradually work towards changing your environment.
Picture Credit: Pixabay.com