Life Lessons I’ve Learned From My 4-year-old Self

There are going to be times when you want to quit or give up on something you’ve been working towards. There are also going to be those a-ha moments when you realize what’s really important. Written by Juliet Rocco


I was a pretty cute 5-year-old

To the time capsule!

A few weeks ago, I was back home and cleaning out my room. I found all sorts of old art projects, homework assignments, terrible math quizzes and gossip notes. While going through this time capsule of stuff, I found my pre-school yearbooks.

One in particular caught my attention. It was from when I was 4 years old. Next to my photo, was a question: “What do you want to do when you grow up?” My 4-year-old self answered with “Drive a motorcycle, live in a house, and be a mommy.”

Interpreting myself: I stared at it for a minute and thought about how simple my answer was. Driving a purple motorcycle, owning a big house and having kids seemed like things I could get very easily by the time I became an adult.

I didn’t know what getting any of those things really entailed, I just wanted them. The world according to me was not just filled with rainbows and butterflies, it was filled with endless possibilities. If I wanted to be a doctor when I grew up, I would not let anyone or anything stop me!

Smarter than you think: The next thing I stumbled upon was an art project from kindergarten. While most kids said the person they admired most was their mom or dad, I answered with “George Washington.” (My teacher told my parents that was the best answer of the entire class, so they didn’t feel so bad)

Today, setting goals and generating ideas comes with so many what ifs that I think we often get stuck in the cluttered mess of self-doubt and defeat. I asked myself, why not take the same approach to life that I did when I was five? That carefree, ambitious attitude that children possess is something a lot of us tend to let go of as we get older.

Time for a new approach: Since stumbling upon those old yearbooks and reading my responses to those life questions, I’ve tried a much more simplistic approach.

Instead of saying, “If I can get this awesome job at xyz company…” say, “When I get this awesome job…”. The key to this activity is all about attitude and having confidence in reaching your goals. Having a good support group around helps a lot in keeping you motivated. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help from my family, friends, teachers and co-workers.

Takeaway: Make a 3-month goal plan. Where do you want to be in 3-months and what do you want to achieve. Leave out passive phrases like “I’d like to accomplish this” and say “I will accomplish this!” Since applying this in my own life, I’ve been able to reach more personal and professional goals.

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4 thoughts on “Life Lessons I’ve Learned From My 4-year-old Self

  1. This is awesome! It’s funny what you can learn from yourself going back in time.

  2. julietrocco says:

    Thanks, Michelle! It’s always nice finding things that bring back so many memories.

  3. Great post, Juliet! I’ve often thought about when I was a kid, and how I was then compared to now – more whimsical, interested, exploring. I keep getting reminded of the importance of keeping those things in my current life! Congrats on almost-graduating:)

  4. julietrocco says:

    Glad you enjoyed it, Anthony!

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