Remember back to your childhood, back to the beginning of the journey. Remember your childhood visions of the future.

If you were like most of us, you dreamed of an exciting future where you were passionately engaged in life. Perhaps you dreamed of being a rock star or a professional athlete, a detective, or the first empress of the galaxy. You might have envisioned yourself as a brilliant surgeon, as an artist, or swinging from a vine over a bottomless chasm. Wiser now, you might smile at the naïveté of childhood dreams. Your vision may not have been reasonable or practical, but it was certainly passionate. It put you in the midst of a life that was fully lived.

How well does the word work fit with your childhood dream job? Doesn’t it seem strangely out of place? The way these fantasies usually occur seems to fit better into the category of “adventurous vacation” or “getting paid to play.” Our dream jobs are more play than work. When people dream of being a lawyer, they aren’t thinking about being buried under endless piles of deadly dull paperwork or having to defend an unscrupulous client. In our dreams of being a fireman, we are fighting the fire, not repacking the hoses or passing long nights in the firehouse playing endless games of pinochle with two cards missing from the deck.

When you get down to the very skinny truth, under all the sophisticated conversation and pretense, no one really wants to work if that includes a life of suffering. One definition of the word work that is not in the dictionary, but nevertheless is a part of our internal dictionary, goes something like, “Work—something I would rather do less of” or “something I have to do when I would rather do something else.” Underneath all the serious reasons people give to explain why they want to change careers, lead a company, write a book or drive an eighteen wheeler, there is an essential, powerful motivation that’s not discussed in polite, sophisticated company. They want to do something they are passionate about. They want satisfaction, an adventure. And, they want to have fun.

How about you? Is it time to move your life forward?