Landry vigorously stirred the eggs as his dad readied the pan.
“I’m gonna be a chef when I grow up.” His statement was punctuated by his chest–and tummy–thrown out with decisiveness. A life plan. A dream of what he wants to become.
His dad laughed. At not-quite-three, Landry has had many desires of what to be. Everything from a construction worker to a fireman, a policeman to a street sweeper.
That day it was a chef.
He pursues his dream with perspective and investment. He loves toy construction vehicles. While at our home, he’d dump out huge bins of blocks so he could push them around with his plastic bulldozer.
He and his brother Huck can identify just about any construction vehicle on the road. And will quickly correct me if I don’t identify something accurately. I called something a front loader because of the big bucket on the front. Obvious, right? Landry rolled his eyes and said, “It’s an excavator. The bucket is turned the other way.”
Girls don’t get trucks.
When I was a kid, I was pretty focused on what I wanted to become. Two things. A horse trainer, which would let me ride horses to my heart’s content. (I was shy when I was younger, and horses seemed so much kinder than people.) And a writer.
The horse trainer didn’t pan out. I’d thought of pursuing equine therapy in college, helping others with rehabilitation using horses. I was strongly urged to go into education.
Should have stuck by my decision. I taught for a year and found it the most stressful thing ever.
Writing is something I started pursuing about six years ago. I’m shopping around for an agent or publisher to pursue the dream. If I quit trying, the dream dies.
So what do I want to be when I grow up?
One of the best things I get to do with my job as a life coach/missionary is using assessments to help people understand how God has uniquely invested in them–as He has in each one of us–to be able to do amazing things that will actually cause us to thrive. The better we understand how we’ve been created, the more we can focus on using our particular talents in day-to-day living.
I’m a huge proponent of CliftonStrengths and its sister assessment, CoreClarity, for aiding folks in discovering their talents. They demonstrate how God has chosen to invest His character in us. Being created in His image is more than just having the ability to think, emote and relate to others. We each have an inner skill set that drives our passions and perspective.
Assessments gave me words to describe my love for developing people. Which made sense to me–I’m an extrovert who enjoys seeing people grow. I’ve also got more conversation than most people–I have a passion for communication.
We each have inner talents that we can devote time and energy into developing. God-given passions. The greater awareness we have of how God has gifted us, the better chance we have of living with a sense of flourishing.
Who knows? Landry may thrive as a chef.