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Change Your Stars

Recently our son asked us, “What profession do you think makes the most money? Anthropologist, Archaeologist, or Lawyer?” He is just starting High School and we’re very proud of him for thinking ahead. I can understand he wants to make a lot of money, everyone does. But like most people, of any age, he is missing the primary point. Simply put, no matter how much money you make, if you’re not happy, it’s never enough.

I wanted to be a journalist. I always enjoyed writing and I did an internship as a news reporter in college. That was work I really enjoyed.

As my college days came to a close my father offered me a job. There was a sense of obligation in me to follow in his footsteps and to be perfectly honest, the money for a guy my age was very appealing. I wanted to get married and start a family so I took the job.

In my first couple of years I sent out a lot of resumes to various networks, newspapers and magazines. I was never able to land a job that would meet my expectations. I had a young family to care for and the earning potential was horrible for a rookie.

At the time, I made a lot more money than most people my age. I got to travel frequently and basically had everything I wanted, but I was miserable. I wasn’t fulfilling my potential and I honestly found it difficult to look in the mirror; literally.

In 1998 my wife left me unexpectedly, taking my kids seven hundred miles away. I went into a tailspin and cowered in a dark corner for over eight months. I was in deep depression, drinking a lot of wine and living off of pretzels. I lost over thirty pounds. The day I found myself falling UP the stairs was the day I realized things needed to change.

I reached down deep inside and asked myself what it was I really wanted to do, who I wanted to be. I was in a unique place to make some life changing decisions.

I quit my job with no idea what I was going to do for a living. There was no logical path before me. I simply knew that I had to be true to myself.

At the time, the Internet was just coming into vogue and I had been dabbling in it for a while. It gave me experience in coding web pages, creating graphics and writing copy. All of which I very much enjoyed doing.

For the next sixteen years I continued to fine tune those skills. My writing got better, my graphics took on a life of their own and I kept up with Internet technology.

Now I’m in a place I couldn’t have imagined. All of those things have come to the forefront. I write feature articles, create marketing materials and serve as the webmaster and technical expert promoting my own business. My dreams have finally come true.

All those years ago I took a chance on myself. I discovered that my happiness was more important than any amount of money I could ever make.

I believe I have wealth far greater than most others who are tirelessly and aimlessly chasing the dollar. I have a wonderful wife who loves me and cherishes me. I have great kids who are smart and well adjusted. And I have a job I love. I’ve never been so happy in my life.

So my answer to my son was easy. “Which one of those things will bring you the greatest personal satisfaction?”

If we base our career goals on the amount of money we’ll be making then we will be setting ourselves up for misery. I was thirty-eight when I decided to go for my dreams. I don’t look back with any regret whatsoever, and I can tell you that the journey has been long and hard. There were times I couldn’t keep the lights on and I had ramen noodles for weeks on end.

Reach down inside of yourself and see what it is you really want in life, what it is that truly makes you happy and then set your mind to reaching for those dreams. Persevere. Get the education you need, the experience you need and stay true to your ambitions. Keep your heart set and your determination strong. Believe in yourself. Invest in yourself. We can all change our stars and the only thing stopping us is ourself.

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Emotional Café
A service of Outsource Initiatives
Ocala, Florida, USA
Phone: (407) 279.7373
Email: xio@outsourceinitiatives.com