When I grow up

“Lawyers appear among the “most hated” occupational groups on all the lists I’ve ever seen except one, a recent list from the south of England. Look, ma, no lawyers! What’s wrong with those people? Even politicians make it only to 9th spot, just ahead of Reality TV show contestants.”

George Jonas, National Post · Oct. 19, 2011 | Last Updated: Oct. 19, 2011 3:09 ET


Adults rarely like what they do because they rarely do anything they like. There are probably 100 sales clerks for every dentist, 100 dentists for every MP, 100 MPs for every concert pianist and 100 concert pianists for every crocodile hunter, such as the late Steve Irwin. Guess what the proportion would be if the choices were people’s own.

Children are what they are: Firefighters, generals or lion tamers. One child I met was a bishop (no kidding). Never knew a child who expressed the slightest interest in being a sales manager or a civil servant. That was only what most of them became.

Adults lead dreary lives. They generally manufacture, sell, distribute, service, administer, or manage. A smaller number heal, inform, educate, arbitrate, and adjudicate. Only a handful will explore, entertain, invent, create, inspire, lead or protect.

Why are people unhappy? That’s why. They end up disappointing their 10-year-old selves.

“What would you like to be when you grow up?” Not what you’ll end up being, in all likelihood. When you ask 10-year-olds, few pick occupations in which most 40-year-olds are actually engaged. Growing up means giving up on things you like and coming to terms with things you don’t.

To read  the complete article, click here.