What Do You Want To Be When You “Grow Up?” — Be Encourageous.
What Do You Want To Be When You “Grow Up?”
Personally, I’ve always struggled to put into words what I want to be when I grow up, mostly because I don’t really identify that well with “the machine” or its methods as a whole. I’m no longer a big consumer or into material things to the degree I was in the past. Now I’m more interested in the personal growth and knowledge that comes with traveling and experiencing new people, places, and cultures around the world.
Of course, my lack of solid footing might seem a little odd since I’m already about halfway through the years I’ll spend upright on this big blue ball. But maybe it’s not that odd, since I’m a firm believer that if we’re doing it right, we never really “figure it out” or stop desiring to grow and learn.
The more we try to be a “better person” (whatever that means to each of us…), we tend to realize just how fallible…and ignorant…we really are to the intricacies of life. Once again making it painfully obvious just how important it is to continue to try harder and continue to be open and to learning.
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Interim Life Goal: Be A Little Better Today Than We Were Yesterday…
I’ve said in the past that I think a good goal for us want-to-change-the-world types is to just try to be at least a little bit better today than we were yesterday and to strive to be better tomorrow than we are today. Progress over perfection, but always progress.
Truth be told, I’ve never put the following words out there, until recently, because I feel like they come off a bit slanted:
See, those words are the truth. I think it’s the truth for a lot of us. But somehow they seem to feel a bit holier-than-thou or quasi-arrogant when put out into the aether. Of course, in reality, I think it’s quite the opposite. The only way we tend to have the capacity to inspire is to first have been inspired by someone or something. Cause and effect, but not always in that order.
But there’s another facet to this line of thinking that’s important. Having the strength, courage, lack of inhibition, or whatever you want to call it, to bare your soul to the world is a terrifyingly difficult feat for a lot of us.
Putting ourselves out there because we somehow feel that our personal story…or strengths…or weaknesses…might somehow help another find their next step seems to straddle this weird space between selflessness and selfishness.
That’s textbook self-sabotage, but let’s be honest, that internal dialogue is real and can be crippling. And it doesn’t seem to go away—at least not for me. Maybe it will with practice, but I’m still working on getting my 10,000 hours in, so I guess I’ll have to wait and see. But my gut says those feelings never go away altogether.
So as I was hiking yesterday—my happy place, where I can sometimes get the thoughts to line up and be borderline cohesive— I stumbled upon what might be a better way for us to look at things.
To sit more comfortably with the overwhelm of putting into words what we want to be “when we grow up”…or just when we wake up tomorrow, and without that underlying angst or the potential of feeling like a total fraud…
To Be Encourageous Is To Find A Unique Marriage Of Passion And Purpose
A symbiosis between cause and effect and their true inability to be independent of each other. For me it’s a reality check that, for the moment, seems to ease that “searching for the words” soundtrack in my head. Two words and five syllables that reverberate the core of what I want to be more often than not. What I hope everyone can be more often than not.
End Of The Line Goal: Be Encourageous!
Once or twice a year I do an exercise where I envision myself at the end of my life. I write down all of the things I want to have accomplished, the feelings I might have along the way, or the most important decisions I might be able to look back on.
But honestly, it’s usually a lot of lofty words and bullet points. And while somewhat clarifying, it also often ends up a bit ambiguous as to how to chart the course forward and achieve those things. I’m sure you’ve done exercises like this, and I wonder if you feel a similar combination of clarification and convolution when you’re finished.
So for now, let’s stop overthinking it. (OK. That last line is really for me…)
Knowing that if you do it right, it will create impacts that create more impacts. At the end of our days…or our lives…I think the world would be a better place if we could simply look back with the confidence that we were indeed encourageous.
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About Jason Robinson
Jason is the author of “The Beginner Traveler’s Guide To Going Nomad,” as well as the voice behind the words and the eye behind the lens for The Nomad Experiment. “Planning to travel at some point” wasn’t actually getting the job done, so nearing 40 he decided to make it a priority, nomatter how scary that was. A few years later—through the pandemic and a type 1 diabetes diagnosis at age 42—now living a life of nomadic travel, he’s speaking out to encourage others of any age, or with any serious medical diagnosis, to live an unconventional life.
Travel Planning Tips
Figure out where you are going & how are you getting there…
I suggest using at least 2 to 3 different travel search sites. Start with Skyscanner or Orbitz or Booking …or whatever aggregator site you prefer. Then when you see what airlines to use, check their respective sites for better deals or rewards flights.
Figure out where you’re going to stay…
If you’re interested in hostels, search Hostelworld or Hostelling International. For longer-term or more private digs, look at Airbnb, VRBO, or you can look for hotel rooms in the links from the search engines listed above.
Get comprehensive travel insurance, or in the least, travel medical insurance if internationally…
Especially with Covid not going anywhere, get covered. Start with an insurance aggregator like Insure My Trip, or with SafetyWing, World Nomads, or another. Then decide what is important to you; trip cancellation, baggage coverage, medical, or all of the above. And get a yearly evacuation plan, since you’ll have to get home after your emergency!
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Very inspiring. Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is voluntary. Thanks for sharing.
Appreciate it! Can’t help it…I’m an over-sharer…