There’s nothing more stomach-churning, stress-building, and nerve-wrecking than the feeling that I just might get what I want. You know that moment when you’re a kid and people ask you, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and in your childlike innocence you actually tell them? What younger you doesn’t realize is how much pressure is involved in making that happen! Sure most of us are going to change our minds a bazillion times, but when you lock in and you know that’s it (like my becoming a writer) there has to be that commitment, leap of faith, hat being tossed into the ring, moment when you’re all in because if you’re not then you might (and probably will) regret it for the rest of your natural life.
You might be thinking I’m being a tad melodramatic. Perhaps you’re right; however, this is your WHOLE LIFE we’re talking about here! Anytime I think I’m exaggerating this notion I just remember all the people who’ve succeeded and get to be what they wanted, not just someone doing a job because they have to, and I remind myself how much I want to be one of those people who get to wake up every morning and go to work with a smile not knowing what will happen but confident that despite the hard times the commute and the effort spent on the job are worth it. Ah the joy of not being a drifter!
He must be Forty!
I’m 36 actually, but this soapbox I’m on has been under my arm for decades, and it’s finally under my feet. Why can’t we have the job we’ve always wanted? Why can’t everyone have a job they’d be happy to go to everyday! Lots of people have them—I believe that everyone on this planet is allowed to have the job they’ve dreamed of; one that would make them happy. It doesn’t matter that you are 40, 50, 100, 30, or 10! If you want the job—do what it takes to get there.
(1) Learn about the job
(2) Ask the experts
(3) Try it out as a hobby or (for those of us with a 3-6 month emergency fund) give it the 30-day challenge!
Writers and Rockstars
What’s that you say Captain Downer? Not everyone can have their dream job or a lot of important jobs won’t get done? The reason you think that is because so many of us have a narrow vision as to what a dream job is! Can it be someone’s dream-job to a corporate IT? Yes: if they like working on computers and don’t mind interacting with other people on a regular basis. What about collecting garbage? Can that be someone’s dream-job? Sure! Those types of jobs make the world go ‘round. Someone can have a job that falls into the ‘yuck’ category for most others and love every minute of it. If no one on Earth wants a job like that than how does anyone know who ‘Mike Rowe’ is?
All in all…
When comes to our life, which we only get one of this side of Heaven, each moment must be lived with intent and purpose because it keeps moving forward, and there are no do-overs. You can’t go back and un-make a mistake or try a different decision which erases the first one.
When I was 16 I was taking all sorts of marketing classes in HS. I took so many that I figured there might be something to this marketing stuff and I might give it a chance as a future career. However, I also had the bad habit of sabotaging myself—as I still occasionally do; when the teacher told me he used his ace marketing students to fill jobs around town he asked me if I was interested. I said sure and he told me to report to an accounting firm in my hometown who needed someone to mow their lawn. I chickened out; I never went; never had a job is HS. But what if I had taken it? What career path would I be on? Would my personality have been different? Maybe I’d have become more focused; more intentional. I think about this a lot, as you can tell.
Still, there’s no use crying over spilt milk. The point to this story is that we have to make sure we don’t waste the opportunities that we are presented, and NO that does not mean you should pull a YES MAN with your life. Make the choices that make sense to you, that put you on the path you’ve always wanted your career to be on. You don’t have to get rich, just provide for your family and anyone else depending on you. You don’t have to be a millionaire—it’s okay to smell like fried food if that makes you feel successful and satisfied.
Make the choice you want to make instead of drifting along and waiting for life, or chance, or another person to make it for you.
Carpe Diem all you want, but don’t lose your head in the process.