What my 4 year old taught me about identity by singing

| Doug Warner | Team Articles

It’s become somewhat routine on our daily ride home from school for my wife and me to ask our 4-year-old daughter what she wants to be when she grows up.  For one, we want her to aspire for greatness and explore the vast world of possibilities that lies ahead.  She can be whatever she wants, dammit!  But mostly we do it because she’s extremely cute in her certainty even though she seems to drastically alter career plans every day.  Each time, she proclaims her future vocation with conviction as if to say “THIS time, I’ve truly discovered myself and THIS is who I want to be”...until tomorrow of course.  

Her careers have run the gamut from traditional #kidgoals - Astronaut, Firefighter, Doctor - to the more abstract and imaginative - Unicorn, Yeti, Superhero.   Sometimes her answers are instant and other times, we’ll need to run through some options before she lands on the winning job for the day.

The other day, we explored several potential winners.  Lawyer?  No.  Dentist?  No.  Singer?  Morgan laughed at this option and simply said, “That’s silly, Daddy.  I already AM a singer!”  


You see, Morgan has inherited her mother and father’s penchant for belting out a tune.  Most recently, she’s learned every word of the new Trolls Soundtrack and oscillates between singing in her own voice and the high pitched squealing tones of her favorite doll, Moana.  The best part is she is never worried about hitting every note or lyric perfectly.  She just takes joy in the process of singing - voice cracks, missed lyrics and all.  So, by her amazing, pure, and completely accurate logic, she IS a singer.

Her proud statement, “I already AM a singer”  took me aback slightly and sent me into reflection mode.  How often do we, as adults, limit ourselves from trying something simply because the gap between us and the professionals seems so vast and insurmountable?  What skills have we failed to develop because unrealistic self expectations stop us before we even start?  Somewhere along the line we learned that we can’t proclaim to be something unless we’ve put in our 10,000 hours and perform at a world class level. 

As we’ve been bootstrapping and starting our new company, so many of our amazing AMP Up1 Hospitality team have been forced out of comfort and into new worlds.  Out of necessity, we’ve all added new specialities to our skillsets and by diving in headfirst, we’ve all grown exponentially.

So I owe a big “thank you” to my lovely, confident daughter.  With her natural “I do, therefore I am” mentality, she’s reminded me that action, without fear of judgement, is the key to defining who we are and what we do.  As one of my spirit guides, Seth Godin, posits in his awesome new book, in any endeavor it’s “The Practice” that really matters. 

In just the last several months, I can proudly say that, by doing, I have become a web developer, blogger, site selection specialist, graphic artist and more.  Is there a skill, talent or project you’ve always put off because it just seems too daunting?  Ditch the limiting beliefs, take a page out of Morgan’s songbook and “Just Sing”.

Dec MorganVideo



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