“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” (Anonymous)
We live in a capitalist driven world. We’re brought up to believe that money creates happiness. Maybe it does for you, and that’s grand. Like I know of a lot of people who hate their jobs but love their lives. They work to live and think ‘happy days’… The thing is, I know I am different to these people. Very different. Still, from time to time I have my doubts and I nearly cave into that way of thinking. But very quickly, I revert back to knowing that for me, happiness comes before money. Doing what I enjoy comes before money. So many things in my life take preference over money.
If you too are like me. Then I’d suggest reading this short blog on my recent temptation and the decision I took. Hopefully it can reassure you that you don’t have to follow the crowd or toe the line. You can and should do something you love to do.
If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading. (Lao Tzu)
I recently reached that mid 20s crisis point. (It’s a point where young people think “Jesus, I’m a quarter the way there and I still don’t even know where I’m going.”) I had finished my degree and I worked for two years with no option of career progression. And then I was stuck. People would ask me my plan and I would lie by telling them I just wanted a wee break from everything. But the truth was that I had no idea where to turn, because I was afraid of where it might bring me.
Before long, the lack of income became an issue and panic began to sneak in. Coming close to crisis point I started listening to others about “getting a real job” and “finally reaching the real world”. Although these comments were made in good spirit, they added to the pressure that was already beginning to push me in the wrong direction. And that is where I went. I gave up on my idealist views and went looking for ‘a job for the sake of a job’ in the corporate world.
I got in with a company through a friend of mine (who I’m very grateful of). They put me through a rigorous two days of long interviews and presentations. Throughout those days I performed magnificently (‘performed’ being the overriding word here). I was acting, and I was lying. I was Lying to the interviewers and I was lying to myself. I said things like “I relish the idea of working in a sales environment” and “my number one motivation is to make as much money as possible.” Talk about selling myself out.
Thankfully, on the day I got offered the job, I had an epiphany. I was at a meeting with the NGO i volunteer with. It was while sitting there, with like minded people that I thought, “Brian!!! What the hell are you doing??? That is not you!!!” So to the surprise (and initial annoyance) of my parents, I turned down this job. I continued with part-time work and volunteering, but my real future plan was that I was going to continue with education until I get to where I want to be.
Right now, instead of being a couple of months into my new hectic life in the corporate world. I am in my 3rd week as a Masters Student studying Sports and Exercise Psychology in Jordanstown. This consists of 7 intense hours of classes each Monday. I know this may sound like hell to you but I love every second of it. Sport is what I’m passionate about. Sport is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Sport makes a very happy Brian (almost all the time :)).
Do I need to make money to make me happy? No, I’m pursuing happiness for my career and I’m going to get paid for it. A good way to test yourself, and the direction you’re going, is by asking yourself “If I won the lotto tomorrow, would I still do this?” If the answer is no, then what about that change of direction? Wouldn’t you rather a job you love? A job that wasn’t work? If so, back yourself, roll the dice.