How not to forget your dreams

I recently forgot my email password. My security question (set many years ago) was “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I’m unable to recollect my original answer… I wonder how many others lost their way, and whether they ever find their way back to their dream. 1

A friend recently asked for help with a job application. One of the questions asked: what is your greatest achievement? It was a struggle to think of much. Anything would do: good art, or a big project, or teaching myself something substantial. But I didn’t have anything. For her, I limply suggested she talk about her success as a ‘third culture kid’—integrating herself not only into her parents’ cultures but as a transplant in a new culture (she was schooled partly in England and partly in Belgium). But this hardly feels like a triumph. Generation Y was the first to have to write their own biographies. Paul Graham flipped the five most common regrets of the dying and turned them into daily commands. Maybe asking probing questions of yourself is a useful tool to help find out what you want, or at least to show you that you don’t yet know what you want. (Hat tip to Kayla d’Angelo.)

  1. Abhinav Deshmukh’s answer to Sadness: What are some things that make you really sad? ↩