#8 TRENDING IN Personal Growth 🔥

Everything You Need to Know About Your Childhood Dreams

Personal Growth

Sun, January 21

One of the most significant aspects of childhood is dreams that illustrate an ideal, magical future. All teenagers have embarrassing photos of themselves dressed up as firefighters and princesses on Halloween, lost in their phones’ galleries years later. During your childhood, these roles were without consideration to a competitive reality: one that unfolds later in life.

As you age, you question whether your childhood dreams are irrelevant. Understanding what these dreams can represent in adulthood is essential before entering the workforce.

Why People Abandon Their Childhood Dreams

Children rarely consider financial limitations and educational requirements when deciding on their future. Their dreams are based on pure passion and imagination, untainted by society’s viewpoints on prestige and wealth. Before entering the workforce, these youthful perspectives begin to shift.

In middle school, students learn more detailed concepts about money. Teenagers understand the significance of earning degrees and networking. Young adults search for employment in an increasingly competitive workforce.

When people’s needs begin to go unmet, they often sacrifice their childhood dreams to accept positions to stay afloat. The first jobs available to desperate workers typically don’t align with life-long passions. Hence the death of countless childhood fantasies.

Others may find these dreams irrelevant to the desires and opportunities they acquired over time. Some goals are unrealistic when compared to a person’s current circumstances. The probability of becoming a world-renowned pop star in a small rural community is slim. It’s human nature to disregard what no longer serves you and to seek fulfillment through other means.

Should You Continue Following the Past?

Leaving childhood dreams behind is forbidden in some people’s books. There have been countless success stories of people who held onto long-lasting goals and built their dream future. But there have also been records of people who discovered financial and career-oriented prosperity apart from their childhood dreams. Whether one should pursue the dreams of the past is a controversial topic, mainly because it varies for so many people.

Pursuing what you love most is a positive way of attaining life satisfaction. However, chasing unrealistic goals that no longer align with your passions is not beneficial. As long as your childhood dreams lie within your interests and reach, they can be rewarding. The choice is always up to you.

The Rat Race’s Impact on Childhood Goals

Broadly interpreted, the rat race is a societal tendency to pursue the same jobs and resources against thousands of others. This partly explains why desirable jobs (the ones children tend to dream of) are highly selective. It’s easy to enter the rat race when first positions open up to new employees.

Once a person becomes comfortable in their once deemed “temporary” career, they no longer have reason to pursue the ranks they aimed for. Leaving your childhood dreams behind is not the equivalent of staying in jobs you hate. Remember to continually challenge yourself in the workforce, regardless if your interests have changed over time. Don’t settle for what doesn’t match your capability! There is always a reservoir of potential within you, regardless of which career you pursue.

The goals of the past often fall victim to the circumstances of the future. If you plan on fulfilling your childhood dreams (entirely your decision alone), having a support system is essential. Always be open to advice and constructive criticism, not negativity.

While ambition and discipline are highly idealized, remember it is equally significant to rest and enjoy your life to date. Appreciating the present while building your future is critical.

Living in the Middle

Not everyone decides to abandon their childhood dreams or directly pursue them. Instead, they take a neutral stance when entering the workforce. This is accomplished by pursuing a career that meets their current needs while being related to childhood interests. For example, if you wanted to be an astronaut growing up, you might later become an astronomer instead.

While this strategy seems “safer” than making an all-or-nothing decision, it has its downsides. With one foot in the door, this neutral lifestyle is a constant struggle between making ends meet and maintaining life satisfaction. It can lead to indecisiveness toward future projects, blurring the line between success and aspiration.

As a result, people with neutral goals are more prone to living in the past. It’s childhood all over again, except this time, it comes with taxing consequences. Living in the middle is not always a wise choice.

Using Your Potential for Growth

In the future, every childhood dream boils down to fulfillment or abandonment. It is a hard truth to acknowledge, but it has beauty. The two parallels of past dreams encourage people to consider their potential as theirs alone, not collectively within the rat race. Everyone was once a child, but only a few become their hero.

Whether you pursue childhood dreams is a choice you must make alone. Explore your options while understanding that unfulfillment crushes more dreams than failure itself. You will never let your inner child down by receiving rejection slips but rather by avoiding them out of fear.

All failures lead to acceptance, growth, and success over time. The only dead ends in life are the ones you have killed.

In your teenage years, avoid limiting your potential to temporary milestones such as the college admissions process. Let life unfold on its charted course since these years are about learning to navigate it. There is always the inner child to guide you, pointing toward the stars that were once far-fetched dreams.

Are you willing to reach for them? If so, set goals to build your future and strengthen your abilities.

Life is always on the move. From scribbling pictures in third grade to your last day in school, you have grown as an individual. The promises and decisions you make during your teenage years can have lasting impacts.

No matter the difficulties that come your way or the trials you face, those magical dreams live within your heart. It’s your decision whether to follow them.

Kelly Halliburton
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Kelly Halliburton is a member of the Creative Writing Conservatory at Orange County School of the Arts in Santa Ana, California. She enjoys writing poetry, volunteering, and reading. Through exploring themes of student life and personal growth, she aspires to project meaningful ideas in the community.