How to Answer: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

I  made a speech  for a preschool program which centered on the theme: “Aim High” . I did not exactly follow what I wrote in here. I had to be flexible. While I was talking in front, I had to study how the parents listened and how the children behaved.  So what  I said in front was like a synopsis  of what I wrote.


What do you want to be when you grow up? Perhaps all of us here have answered this question. We, adults,  might have taken this question for granted.  But probably this is the first serious question you have encountered in your life. When you were five years old, you were not asked if you were single or married. You were not asked if you had good grades or if you had  a good job. They only asked you:  “ What do you want to be when you grow up?” And I believe this is a very important question  for your  children. Why? Because it is  the moment when they start to dream. We should  encourage children to dream big because  when they dream big, they become the best of what they can be. We are able to maximize their talents.  And there’s a big difference between a person who has big dreams and a person who has small dreams.

Today,I  want you and your children to remember four things before they answer the question: ”What do you want to be when you grow up?”

First if you can conceive it, you can achieve it. Think that you can always do it. Kung ano  kaya mong isipin, kaya mong gawin. Paolo Coelho said: “When you want something, the universe conspires to help you achieve it.” Isn’t it an inspiring  to know that nothing is impossible  and that anything we want is within our reach? In a theatre workshop, actors have an exercise in which they close their eyes and  keep repeating the word, “Yes!” until it becomes part of the actors’ minds so that when they go on stage, they will no longer doubt themselves. For dreams to happen, you have to convince yourself that they will come true.

Secondthose who win, those who are famous, those people you admire  are ordinary people

Tell me the people you like and the people you want to be. Look at Charice Pempengco.  She is just an ordinary girl, a regular young Filipina who  just likes to sing. David,in the Bible is also an ordinary boy. He is a small boy.  But he killed  a giant who was ten times bigger than he is. And his weapon was also ordinary. It was just  a sling shot.  You do not have to be very extraordinary to reach for your dreams.  Just be yourself. As written in the Bible, we are fearfully and wonderfully  made. You can never question God’s creation.

Third, magic is not true  but prayers are real. Before I came here, I was thinking of a fairy tale example for children but how will I let children believe in what am I going to say if I talk about something that does not exist?In the real world, we can not request from a fairy godmother. We can not send our wish list to Santa Claus  but we can always  pray to God. Solomon became the wisest  king on earth because he asked God to give him wisdom.  You can always ask God for help.

Lastly,  believe in yourself. You can succeed even if nobody believes in you but never when you do not believe in yourself. Do you know the story of Babe? Babe is a pig. He joined a contest for sheepdogs. In other places, sheepdogs are those dogs who guard sheep in the farm.  They protect the sheep from escaping the ranch.  When babe came in front of the crowd, nobody believed in him. Nobody believed that a pig could  guide a flock of sheep. In the same way, would you let pigs guard your house, instead of a dog? They laughed at him. But to their surprise, Babe was able to lead the flock of sheep in the contest. He won even if others did not believe in him at first. If he did not believe in himself, he could have been  a pork chop, or a  bacon. The key is: “Believe in yourself.” We should help children gain confidence in themselves.

Dear children, be proud to tell your parents that you want to be a superhero, a superstar, a princess, a doctor, a lawyer,  a writer, a teacher, or to be the president of the Philippines, Dream big and follow your dreams.  We can laugh at them but do not tell them that they will never be what they want to be when they grow up. Do not tell them: “ You will never be the president of the Philippines.” Let us be bridges of their dreams.  Mold  them and unleash their fullest potential.  Show to them that you really like to know what they  want to be when you grow up.

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