As far as I can remember, I had a different ambition every time the moon turned. I first wanted to be a professional chalkboard writer. Not to teach, but to simply write on the board. I could lend my services to lazy teachers. Brilliant!
Then I decided to be a surgeon. It sounded cool at that time. My uncle was a brain surgeon and everyone talked about him like he was Rock Star Barbie. I was down with that! But it required a high tolerance level for blood. Next!
Then Dad talked me about being an industrial engineer in my teen-age years. He said that it was very rewarding and challenging -- intellectually and financially. Then I realized how much I hated math. And in industrial engineering, I apparently need to breathe, sleep and eat math pretty much 24/7.
I wanted to take up creative writing in university when my ever so practical parents shot the idea down. They insisted that I go to business school for my undergrad first and then pursue writing afterwards if I still wanted to. Long story short, I went to B-school and then got a job in the financial industry -- doing something that I never thought I'd be good at.
In university, economics and finance were my worst classes. I'm not even kidding. I would rather pull my own toenails than to study charts, graphs and formulas. So much so that I even shifted my major to Information Technology. Funny enough, I ended up being a financial data analyst – what do you know, I was actually good at it! Take that, Professor Stein and the C+ you gave me!
I know some people who have always known what they wanted to be as soon as they were out of diapers. My friend focused the first 27 years of her life to becoming a doctor. Determination and sacrifice were her tickets to the fast lane. Unfortunately, I wasn't one of those. It took me a few long twists and turns before I met my destiny.
There's nothing wrong with not knowing what you want to do during a time when society pressures you to make that kind of decision. You can be whoever you want to be – and only you can decide that for yourself. And take your time to really think about it. Try out a few things before you commit yourself to one. You might even surprise yourself on what you can achieve and be capable of.
However, when you take your heart somewhere, also take your brain with you. While it's important for you to aspire for something that you believe in, make sure that it will also provide for your basic needs. We have responsibilities and obligations that we should never run away from.
Our childhood ambitions will always have that common denominator that glues them all together.
Try to figure it out then apply it to your life now.
What would that be?