Suffering From Multiple Career Disorder?

The other day, my business partner called and asked a very simple question, “Who do you want to BE when you grow up?” I laughed and asked him, “Was I not grown yet?” My answer was of great significance to him as I was out of town and he needed to gain access to our online banking.

But he got me to thinking and I began to reflect on that seemingly innocent question we all get asked at several points in our lives. Teachers ask their students. Parents ask their children. Individuals ask themselves.

 Who do I want to BE when I grow up?

If I told you I wanted to be a teacher, entrepreneur, consultant, dancer, non-profit founder, production manager, educational advisor, project and operations manager, scholar, writer, baker, international travel agent, diplomatic liaison, counselor, world traveler, and mentor what would you say? If you were a doctor would you diagnose me with Multiple Career Disorder or do I simply suffer from an acute case of Career A.D.D.? If you did, I would certainly tell you it was hereditary as it runs in my family. No – I’m really serious – take a look.

My dad is a veteran, deacon, holds a Juris Doctorate (law degree), has a degree in history and doctorate in Education, retired from management at UPS, and retired as a teacher from the Chicago Public School System. Yeah you read this correctly – he retired – twice. And after all that, he went back to school and earned a Ph.D at 67! But my immediate younger brother is on the same track. He’s already retired from working for the railroad and he’s currently a P.E. teacher. My younger sister is tenure college professor, women’s rights advocate, author, poet, public speaker, and pastors her own congregation. And yet another younger brother is a musician, singer, composer, and graphic design artist. My mom was a secretary, high school business education teacher, elementary school teacher, and librarian before she moved into administration and retired as an elementary school Assistant Principal. She’s a part-time realtor and finishing her dissertation in Educational Leadership. My older sister is the only one who knew she wanted to be a hair stylist, but I believe there is a budding entrepreneur on the rise in her as well.

By the way, I list only some of what they do under the assumption you recognize they are also mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, friends, and partners bestowed with all of the rights and privileges associated with being fully functional in society. Now, it must be noted:

We are not Jacks of All Trades, Masters of None.

The Spaulding Tribe has mastered all our trades with the post graduate degrees, certifications, and experiences to match.

I’ll ask you the same question. Who do you want to be when you grow up?

If you too suffer from Multiple Career Disorder as my family and I do then one of three things have occurred.

  1. You haven’t grown up yet – especially if your career list continues to grow (I’m not even 40 yet); or
  2. You didn’t realize you answered the question incorrectly; or
  3. It was a trick question.

You’re Not Grown!

It is ok – being grown is overrated. Just ask Peter Pan, the Lost Boys, or Toys R Us Kids.

You Answered the Question Incorrectly.

When asked who do you want to be when you grow up, we automatically responded to what do you want to do when you grow up. We’ve been programmed and conditioned to speak about our doing versus our being; but that’s a discussion for a later time.

Merriam Webster, defines DO in the following way:

To bring to pass / carry out; to execute or perform; to put forth.

BE on the other hand is described as:

The qualities of, the identity of, or the condition of a person.

Doing is an exertion of action by a person, whereas being is the essence of the person.

This small revelation uncovers how “who do you want to be when you grow up” is a

A Trick Question.

Your being is your identity, qualities, and conditions that make up who you are. It is your essence and you are born into this physical plane already being who you were meant to be. You don’t have to grow into it. You may have to identify, name it, realign to it; but it is who you already are. It essentially is your DNA or Life’s Blueprint.

I’ll ask the question a different way and my apologies in advance for the improper grammar.

Who Be You?

Who Are You?

Can you imagine the conversations with our children if we supported them with this foundation for self-inquiry and reflection versus ramming all of the actions they must do down their throats?

Hmmm – when I ask the question of myself again – here’s the short answer:

I AM…Unbridled Passion

I AM…Voraciously Curious

I AM…Authentic Truth Seeker

I AM…Creative Altruist


And in reality I do have Multiple Career Disorder. I love harnessing who I AM, MY BEING and creating avenues to do, put forth effort, execute, and carry out all sorts of things. It’s in my blood – I love my life because I know who I BE.

So who are you?

In my best Aibileen Clark voice “you is kind…you is smart…you is important.”

No seriously join the conversation and let me know who you are in the comment area below. If you’re having trouble I’ve even attached a free guide to help you peel back the layers and re-discover who you BE. All you have to do is join my mailing list.

Until next week ~

Be (Be icon) Magnificently Engaging