Every child at some time in their young lives has been asked the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It’s an age old question and it’s interesting to hear the answers that come out of these young mouths.

I think there is nothing more exciting that to watch as these young minds ponder then answer this ageless question.  There are the usual answers. They say that they want to be teachers, doctors, firemen and policemen. There are also occasions when these kids want to follow in their parents footsteps.

I think that when they are young there is no pressure to come up with the right answer. If we look at it objectively there is no right answer.  At that young age the sky is truly the limit. Their answers are not tainted by the color of their skin, their gender, their religious affiliations or any of the other things that are used to determine what career one can go into.

It was not too long ago when people of certain ethnic groups were not allowed access into such professions as teachers, doctors, firemen and policemen. The civil rights movement of the 1960’s helped to open the doors so that many could enter these and other fields. Once in, there were other movements that took place that would create more opportunities so that these same people would not be stuck and they could climb the corporate ladder.

We can find many examples from every ethnic group that have overcome obstacles to become successful in their chosen careers. In each case there is a common thread. Each person’s hard work and commitment to be the best is what has made them successful.

There are some that even though they have had success are not happy. They worked their jobs for the required time, retire and never feel that they are fulfilled. They put their papers in the moment they become eligible, they leave and they never look back.

This is why I think this question we ask our children is so important.

Every positive parent wants the most for their kids. We want them to be happy and we want them to be useful members of society.

In addition to that age old question, I have added another question, “What is your niche?”

We are in a time where quality of life is more important than quantity. I feel that in order to have balanced life you should enjoy what you are doing. In this day and age there is no reason to spend 20-30 years of your life being miserable.

We each have a purpose in life. The quicker we find that purpose means that there will be no wasted time. By using our time correctly, I feel that we have a best chance to feel fulfilled.

“What is your niche?” I ask them this question at different times. Sometimes it takes a while for it to resonate in one’s soul. It can also take time to come up with an answer. It is that answer you come up with that I feel is the “right answer” for you.  

When I ask my kids this question it is important that I DON’T inject my stuff. I can’t make my any one of my kids become a professional athlete if they want to become an artist.

Maybe they love sports but have come to the realization that they will not get any farther than where they are. By helping them to keep their minds open they may find something else they could do.

This happened to my oldest son, Wendell Jr. Through his love of basketball he found his niche which is coaching. He volunteers as an assistant coach for a local high school.

CONGRATULATIONS to Cardozo High School for winning the NYC PSAL Men’s High School Basketball Championship.

My other two kids, Deshawn and Jonathan haven’t found that thing they can’t live without. They are still young and I feel that they have plenty of time to find that “thing”

It has taken me 55 years to find out that “I Love Being a Dad”.

I hope that it won’t take them that long to find their niche and it won’t if I have anything thing to do with it. I now understand what the question is and I now know how to cultivate their answer.

If any of you are planning to begin this process with your kids, there are three things that must be considered.

First, remove all of your stuff. This is about them and only them.

Second, learn all you can about their choice.

Third, show your support.

Who knows! While you’re helping your kids find their niche, you may find that “You love………”

I’m the guy whose glass is always ½ full.



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