There’s one question we’ve all faced countless times: What do you want to be when you grow up? Some people know the answer at a young age. Others live their entire lives seeking but not finding.
No matter where you are in that journey, you’ll learn the answer is often more than an occupation; it’s a state of happiness. Discovering the person you want to become is all about knowing who you are.
Lauren Marbe is an excellent example. The 16-year-old blonde from Great Britain proudly declares her love of fake tans and fake nails. She enjoys going out with friends and she loves makeup.
If you met her, you might make some stereotypical assumptions. If you did, you’d be incredibly incorrect.
Lauren has lived with the ditzy blonde stereotype all her life. Her teachers dismissed her as merely clever, even with her straight-A grades. That changed recently when she and some friends jokingly took a test from Mensa to determine their IQs.
According to Lauren’s test, she isn’t just smart. With a score of 161, she’s one of the smartest people in the world. Even more impressive, she outscored some of the world’s greatest minds, including Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates.
There might be some who will still dismiss her because of her looks, but there’s little they can say. Even the insult, “She’s smart, but no Einstein” doesn’t work. She outscored him as well.
Lauren may be the smartest person in any room she walks into but still has the same dreams and ambitions she had before taking the Mensa test. She wants to attend the University of Cambridge and earn a degree in architecture. Her fallback? Performing on the West End, London’s equivalent of Broadway.
It’s nice to know what you want to do with your life, but sometimes making that discovery takes time, especially when your dream job is one you never really considered, let alone dreamed about.
Ali Witman is making that discovery a little each day. After graduating high school in central Pennsylvania, she attended college at a Penn State auxiliary campus. Even though she enjoyed classes, she dropped out because she didn’t like the college environment and tuition was expensive.
She moved back home and found a 9-to-5 job at a retail store. Before long, Ali realized she didn’t like that either. Like most people, Ali wanted a job that gave her flexibility in hours but stability with income.
That’s when she realized she’d already found her ideal job years before.
Fortunately, Ali’s former boss was her father. The business was one her family owned, Witman Consignment, one of the country’s oldest consignment businesses.
Ali first saw working at the family business as a job. Now, she sees it as a career.She says work is fun because she’s investing in a business she’ll own and is doing something that makes her happy.
That’s what’s most important. It doesn’t matter if you’re a genius or a teen with an eye for business. The best way to be happy is to discover yourself. If you do that, it doesn’t matter whether you sell used clothes or enjoy fake tans and nails. If you’re truly content, nothing else matters.