Lately, there is one question that I like to ask people: if money is not a factor but you have to work, what would you do?
Having been in school for several years already, there is a lot of talk surrounding future careers and work within my circle of friends. The talk is very one directional- if you’ve been studying accounting for the past four years, you’ll probably be an auditor after graduation. All of our answers and our final destinations follow a logical timeline.
But I wonder what we would actually be doing if we don’t have to worry about making “a living”. Putting aside what is “realistic”, isn’t the answer to this question your true dream job?
People don’t answer with, “Good heavens, I have no idea!” the way people would if we were to ask them the same question with money as a factor. It’s amazing some of the answers I get. I get to see a little glimpse of a childhood dream, the potential that was never fully realized for whatever reason, and the small hope that still shines through years of “growing up”. I’ve received answers that bring me to a different country, a different past, and the quirky nooks and crannies of a secret hobby.
There are people who are right on track- the ones who knew exactly what they wanted to be and are continuing to pursue it with never-dulling bright eyes. But then there are all the people who say something unexpected. They say they would be singers, dancers, writers, and all these other jobs that explore the arts. They would dedicate their time to research and cures, to cleaning the planet and to improving the lives of millions all over the world. They would do something they love- something that would make a difference.
Art is how we decorate space. Music is how we decorate time.
I’m not saying that the jobs we are actually pursuing don’t make a difference. I think a part of growing up is finding a balance or an equilibrium point where your skills match a career that also align with your values. However, I don’t think we should discard those early dreams because even if you are not cut out to be a singer or an artist, there was something about that job that burned inside of you, wasn’t there?
Why did you want to be an artist, a singer, a researcher? To express beauty you see? To connect people together? To make people healthier?
Keep those dreams. Those are the real essences of a dream, not the occupational title of a “singer” or “artist”. There are a lot of jobs that express beauty, connect people together, or improve the lifestyles of others. Consequently, there are a lot of ways to weave these missions into other jobs.
To answer my own question: I would travel around the world and blog about it. There will be a lot of photography on food, scenic hike views, and thrilling experiences like sky-diving. I’d write about the interesting people I get to meet and cultural epiphanies. It seems like a lovely job with new adventures in every turn. At the very bottom of it, I think that’s the essence of my dream: to adventure and learn.
What would you do?
P.S. Also as a response to The Daily Prompt: Money for Nothing.