Wednesday, September 07, 2005

When I Grow Up

When I grow up, I want to be the owner of a professional cleaning service.

I don't ever remember saying those words, yet here I am. I was raised in a working class family. I went to college to become a chemist. I worked in a laboratory for six years, until one day I said........ I want to own a business. I heard the same question over and over, "what do you know about business, you work in a lab?"

They were right. I didn't know much about business. I did know that I wanted to create something. I wanted to build something. Money was the last thing on my mind. Money is still the last thing on my mind. What happened? Why did I change everything about my life?

One word: ambition. I remember being ambitious early in life. I wanted to be a major league baseball player. I wanted to be a rock and roll musician. And, I wanted to be the President of the United States. Big, fancy dreams. As the years passed on, my ambitions were replaced with practicality. Go to college, get a job, pay the bills, wake up and do it again tomorrow. Slowly, I began to feel like I was becoming just another person. I was a little fish in a very big pond.

Eventually, I decided that just being wasn't enough. I wanted to be remembered for something. I wanted to build something. Unfortunately, doing this meant changing everything. Leaving the comfortable job, leaving the comfortable city, and leaving behind friends. It was huge gamble. Losing the gamble could result in financial ruin. I did it anyway. I did it because I had recovered the ambitious nerve that most of us lose somewhere between childhood and adulthood.

Children have nowhere to go but up. That's why children's dreams are so big. They've got nothing to stop them. Why do our dreams get smaller as we get older? They get smaller because life gets in the way.

Today, my ambitions grow everyday. What I dreamed yesterday is much smaller than what I dream today. Growing up doesn't mean that you should stop growing.

I may have never dreamed of owning a professional cleaning service. But I did want to be somebody. I'm glad I found that lost ambition. It's changed my life.

Start dreaming again.

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