What do you want to be when you grow up?

I have heard this question a million times. I have even asked a lot of people this exact same question and received tons of different answers. Some were crystal clear, while others had almost no idea what they wanted. But almost all of them had a thing in common. Their wishes were linked to their future careers,  jobs, start-ups or companies they wanted to build.

Recently I realized how wrong these questions – and especially their answers – are. The only answer I deem as acceptable to the question is “I want to be happy”. Eventually it should be the final goal of anything we do. The means to achieve your objectives are countless, but the end is – or it should be – almost always the same.

As I was growing up, I had a lot of different answers to this question. As a kid, I wanted to be a professional football payer, then I changed my mind and because I loved playing games I wanted to work in the gaming industry, then I changed my mind again and wanted to be a developer, project manager, work in a big corporation, teacher/ trainer, speaker, entrepreneur. Actually, this is what I did throughout time. And I decided I wanted to do each of them as the opportunity arose. I never had the clear goal to become any of them as a lifetime profession.

My focus was to do the things which made me happy. My ideas, plans, future expectations changed so many times until now. I never saw my life or career as something linear, since I like a lot of things (I have the tendency to get involved in a lot of different projects).

At the rate jobs, technology and society are changing, you may decide you want to become something that will become obsolete in 10, 5, or maybe even just one year or you might find that in a few years something totally new comes up, you love it and you want to do that.

What never becomes obsolete though is the set of skills and aptitudes that includes, but not limited to, things like problem-solving, communication, leadership, fast learning, adaptability to change.

Rather than focusing on what you want to be, focus on how you want to be. Choose to create a mindset and acquire the skills that can make you a valuable resource no matter what you do. This way, you offer yourself countless possibilities to find and do something you enjoy. And also, if you get bored or things are not working out as you would like them to, you always have the chance to do something else which makes you happy.

Why keep it a secret

I had a lot of flights in the last period and I usually like to sit in the first few rows in the airplane, right after business class.

One thing I noticed is that right after takeoff they pull the curtains almost until landing. Why is that? Do people in the first class like the privacy? Is there something to hide?

I don’t believe people in first class love the idea of privacy so much when it comes to this. It’s not like the other passengers don’t see them while boarding. So this seems out of question.

Is it because the air companies don’t want people from economy to see the special treatment people in first class get? Why would you want to hide that? I, for one, would encourage it. This way, more people would see the benefits of flying first class. Get a glance on what they are missing and think again next time they buy a ticket.

If it’s not a privacy issue then by all means, show off. Show people what they are missing. This is how you promote your services and get more people wanting the “premium feel” you get when flying business.

Curiosity killed the cat

A lot of people kill curiosity from the very first moments of our existence. Then, school also kills it by its people and the system that always has to keep up with a curricula, a timetable and the textbooks. There is never time to be curious, to discover new things or to ask questions. And, even when you do, there’s always someone trying to put you back into your place, call your question stupid and to demand to stop wasting time and get back to what you are supposed to do.

When we grow older we’re already used to keep in line. There’s always work to do, activities required to be done and there’s no time to waste with anything outside of the daily routine. There is rarely time to be curious, to explore, to see what’s new and what you enjoy.

But curiosity is what makes us grow. This is how we extend our horizons, how we expand our knowledge and capabilities. All our evolution was based on the desire to know, to understand, to experiment. Curiosity (even if you think about the Mars rover) is what pushed us to where we are right now and what’s going to keep us moving forward and evolve as individuals, society and race.

Curiosity killed the cat… but satisfaction brought it back.

Success is…

being a billionaire.

saving as many people as possible.

being famous.

owning a Ferrary.

having a family and two kids.

changing the world.

discovering the cure for HIV.

being happy.

Success is whatever you want it to be. We are all different and success is different for each of us. You might define how successful you are by a lot of different things. The only way to judge if you are successful and how successful you are, is by comparison with what your definition of success is.

Stop taking other people’s definition of success and comparing yourself to that. You can be successful without even knowing it, but miss it by trying to be successful by some other person’s definition of success.

5 ways to get out of your comfort zone

Try something you have never done before.

Work-related or not, try to do something new. If you’re a coder try a new programming language. Or even better, try writing something. The more different it is from what you usually do, the better it will be. You might discover something you like, something interesting and develop some skills you never had.

Remember something you have always wanted to do and never had the courage to.

Did you want to try bungee jumping? Or ask a particular girl out? Did you fancy singing karaoke? Or dream of speaking in front of a big audience? We all have things on our list which we have never tried just because of fear. It’s time to get up and do it! Once you overcome fear you will be able to do things you never imagined you could do.

Go to someone near you and ask what you can help them with.

Ask someone on the street, in the office, a friend of yours if they need help with anything. It’s the perfect opportunity to connect and interact.

Stop smoking, eating sweets, using the internet, drinking coffee or whatever addictions you have, for a day.

We are what we eat. We are what we drink. We are what we repeatedly do. Try changing some of your habits in order to change yourself.

Do something foolish, childish, stupid.

We all need some time to do crazy things; to go wild; to have foolish fun and forget about all the worries, stress, problems. Go bananas!

In order to get something you never had, you must do something you have never done before.