During my day, when the above question was asked of a Singaporean child, the only "acceptable" answers were the following: doctor, lawyer and engineer. Of course, the times, they have a-changed, but I doubt that even with the bread and circuses phenomemon spreading throughout the Singaporean populace today, "rock star" is going to be amongst the answers given.
Maybe "astronaut", despite the fact that Singapore does not, and will never be able to accommodate a space program. A small indulgence to be given, perhaps, before the kid in question gets some sense knocked into their brain and picks (or eventually, drifts) into a profession that is more on the realistic side of things. To be completely honest, my impression was that most kids don't really care that much about their futures, let alone have a plan for theirs, and are only spouting off the approved lines to get their teacher off their backs.
Free Northerner has written a little piece on planning for your future over here. In it, he makes the argument that you should emulate the lifestyle of someone whom you want to be.
But once you’ve decided where you want to be, how do you determine what you should work on to get where you want?Essentially, the advice is to pick a role model and ask "what would X do?" when confronted with a difficulty in your daily life, or when trying to decide what to do next. If you're a Christian, then X will naturally be Jesus. If you're a little younger or more idealistic, then maybe X will be Batman. Or if you're a...well, I think you get my point, and as an added bonus, it drives home the importance of role models in a kid's life.
Know the type of man who will have what you want, then become him.
Is there a career or job you want to have? Become the kind of employee an employer in that field would hire.
Do you want a promotion? Become the type of man your boss would promote.
Do you want your own business or to become rich? Become the type of man who would run a successful business.
Do you want to master a skill? Become the type of person who has mastered that skill.
Do you want to attract a certain type of girl? Become the type of man that type of girl couldn’t help but swoon over.
Do you want to live the life of an international player? Become the type of man who would quit his job, travel everywhere, and attract attractive women.
Whatever you want to have in life, find out what type of man who has it, then become that man.
To do this, find out who has the type of life you want. Find as many of them as you can. You have the internet, it shouldn’t be hard; there’s probably a part of the blogosphere devoted to it.
Study what they all have in common; what virtues do they share? What defines them as a group? What have they all done the same? What experiences do they share?
Once you understand what makes that type of man that type of man, become that type of man. Develop those virtues. Do those things. Have those experiences.
I suppose any long-term reader of this blog will know the people I look up to, what I ideally would like to have in my life, and what I realistically can get pre-collapse. I'm working towards those.
I can't really build upon Free Northerner's original point, but one other thing I must add to Free Northerner's advice is that not only should you seek to emulate the people you admire, but also that you should seek to avoid the behaviours of those you are disgusted by. Sure, it would be best to know who you want to be in life, but as Free Northerner points out, that usually takes a bit of time and a whole lot of soul-searching before you choose to embark on the path that will take you through your life.
That doesn't mean you can veer off into the wilderness in the meantime, though. Sure, you may not know what you want to do in your future, but you probably have some things that you definitely know you'd rather not end up as, for example, a hobo, and knowing what you don't want to do can be almost as effective as knowing what you do want - at least, it'll keep you on the straight and narrow. When I was fourteen, I might not have known for sure what I wanted to do with my life, but it certainly didn't involve weighing close to a hundred kilos. If you let yourself veer off into the wilderness, you might not be able to catch sight of another crossroads or waypost once you've decided what you do want to do with the rest of your existence on this miserable, benighted planet.
Sure, what we do with freaks today is put them on national TV and turn them into a freak show so that people in their miserable, stupid lives can say to themselves, "at least I haven't sunk that low." They don't reflect about why these people they're laughing at are in the mire, whether they themselves are on the path to landing in the mud themselves.
No reason for letting yourself go at any time.