A friend asked me a life-changing question a few months ago.

If you’re close to me, there’s a chance I’ve asked you, too.

Over the past two months, I’ve asked approximately 600 people this question. I’ve seen the answer inspire joy, fear and even reduce people to tears.

If you’re looking for connection to purpose and an opportunity to align the way you spend your time, there’s a good chance that we can find clues in this question.

What did you do when you were a kid?

And after you ask yourself, go ask your family.

 Or that time that my only human friend came to my birthday party... 

Or that time that my only human friend came to my birthday party... 

I asked my Mom and Grandmother – both immediately fell into laughter recalling imaginary friends (Sheep, Every, Tam and Shock), excited hand flapping (yes, I still do this) and that time I was found hiding, in an uncontrollable fit of tears because Tracker Smurf was lost. Yep, that’s me. Hand-flapping, friendless kid crying with concern over a cartoon character.  Apparently, as a kid, I dealt in a land of exceptionally vivid imagination and story.

The interesting thing about growing older is that while we certainly develop and grow, we also tend to suppress. So many of us are busy chasing progress and growth that we often sacrifice the very gifts that allow us to do our best work.

Growth is great and all, but what’s it worth if it requires you to sacrifice who you truly are, at your core?

I’m over the growth-at-all-costs mentality – because it’s cheap. And it won’t last. Before you grow, make sure you love what you’re doing… If you don’t love what you’re doing, growth will suck. It will be more of what you don’t love.