"Noah McCullough has been called a presidential prodigy. Even though he’s only in fifth grade, he plans to run for President of the United States in 2032. While most kids are at summer camp, this 11-year-old whiz kid went on a 10-state tour in 2005 to lobby for social security reform. Having read over 250 books about the commanders-in-chief, Noah impresses with his vast knowledge of presidential trivia. He’s had the opportunity to challenge some of the biggest names in politics on presidential trivia—and he usually wins!
Noah says his interest in American presidents began during the 2000 presidential election when he was only 5 years old. "There was a mock election in my school and I wanted to learn more and actually vote for the real reasons, like adults do," says Noah."
This kid already is passing out bumper stickers with his name on it for the presidential election in 2032. What I found totally amazing and fascinating about the profile is that I absolutely believed every word he said and felt his passion was genuine and deep.We have all seen examples of scary Stepford-like children who profess to want to be a math genius/beauty queen/doctor when we really know it is their psychotic parents who are driving them harder than Romanian gymnastics coaches.
Noah is different. He radiates a beam of focus, intensity and light. I absolutely believe that he will reach his goal and happily jump into the presidential race of 2032. (Not a moment too soon to straighten out my Social Security – you got my vote Noah!)
Why is it that some people are born like Noah and have a totally clear picture of what they want to do with their life while others desperately reach for meaning and direction, unsure if they even know what they are passionate about?
In my experience teaching lots of career development classes, I think that the fundamental problem is that we are all wired differently, but society places a higher value on single-career folks. Some, like my father the photographer, prefer a single, deep career track that lasts their whole working life. Others would prefer to try a little bit of Alaskan fishing followed by investment banking topped off with yoga teaching. Those in the latter group that have "tapestry careers" or "renaissance souls" often feel bad that they "just can’t stick with one thing and make it work." So instead of embracing the great diversity of talents that they have, they beat themselves up for being slackers.
And indeed there are some that try on different careers as you change your underwear, just so they can avoid committing to any one thing and facing the frustration of the learning process. This is really a different issue than the person with multiple talents/interests that goes deep in each one for a defined period of time, then moves on to the next with equal intensity.
The only advice I give in this area is to relax and embrace whatever work pattern comes naturally to you. If you have multiple interests and aren’t sure which one to pursue as your own business, do some research and choose the one that sounds the most interesting and holds the most potential for success in the marketplace right now. Then just experiment! Start small so that if it doesn’t work, you won’t lose your shirt.
If you are a "renaissance soul," maybe your life’s purpose is learning a little about a lot of things so that you can be an excellent teacher or parent or entrepreneur.
If you are a single-minded person like Noah, you might just find yourself president at age 36.
BOTH are valid career paths!