Well, we made it. My original goal was to blog once a day for three months. I’ve missed a few days in the past couple weeks as I’ve been incredibly busy with work, life and holiday shopping. I’m comfortable making a judgment call and not blogging when it would be too hastily constructed to add any value, and will go ahead and say mission accomplished! Not in the George Bush on a boat “Mission Accomplished”, but I really feel as though I accomplished something. I challenged myself to organize and articulate a lot of my thoughts and experiences of my working career up until this point. I’ve been able to connect with many people and drastically increased my ability to have a conversation around the meaning of work and finding happiness through work. And I hope I’ve helped all of you in some way or another.

I wanted to end with a contradiction, as I love contrast in life and the value it adds to most experiences. So I’ve included a TED talk by Mike Rowe. He makes a rousing argument for how America in neck deep in a war on work, and that following your passion is potentially the worst advice you can receive. This talk gave me a shock, as I’ve been talking for years about the virtue of following your passion. And I had a moment of potential anagnorisis and peripeteia (watch the video) as I gave Mike the benefit of the doubt and assumed he had some keen insight I had been missing. So, should we follow our passion? Or should we simply do work that is necessary to the function of society with a smile on our face and faith that balance and happiness can be achieved as readily by cleaning bathrooms as it can by founding companies and creating rock music?

I don’t think there is an easy answer. And I think my answer is drastically different than yours. In his talk Mike talks about the people doing dirty jobs as having great symmetry. My personal goal in life at this point is to achieve balance, which I would say is what Mike means by symmetry. And to say that you will or will not be happy doing something you’re passionate about (or not) is not a complete view of the situation. Life requires symmetry and balance. Our working life is simply one factor. One piece of the puzzle. So, for me, I wanted to really explore the world of work and find some self discovery and actualization in the process. But for the next guy, that may come from some other piece of life.

If you’re curious and excited about exploring the intricacies of what’s available in the realm of work, you may have found my thoughts helpful. If you’re less interested in exploring the working world, then I probably have less to offer. In any case, there is far more to life than work, but also work has the potential to add far more to our lives.

I will continue to post on theregoesjason as I continue to explore the wide world of work and life, but most likely not once a day. Thanks for reading. Happy Holidays and lots of warmth and love.

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Curiosity and Change

December 21, 2010

Often times it seems people spend more energy trying to resist change than they would if they just accepted it and moved on. A healthy curiosity for the world and an appreciation for continued learning makes change something exciting, and not something to be feared. I’m not sure if you can grow your own curiosity for the world, but I can say dealing with change would be a lot easier if you could.

Vision

December 20, 2010

Vision is the ability to look around you in space and time and see what is happening. Having a keen sense of vision means using your intuition to fill in some of the holes in what you see which allows you to see beyond whats in plain site. Trusting your intuition takes time and confidence. Each of us is also more inclined to “see” different things. Have you ever had an experience where you saw something the people around you didn’t? Or simply had the feeling you understood something very well that others may struggle with? That is your natural ability to see the world in a unique way. Next time that happens, take note, as that may be some indication of what you’re naturally good at.

Once you accept that life is about change, you come to terms with the nature of change. We go through periods of great expansion where things seem to be out of control and we’re not quite sure what’s happening. Then there are times where our worlds become small and comfortable as we consolidate what we now know about ourselves and the world at large. Fluidly shifting from expansion to consolidation and back again is an art form. It’s not the same for you as it is for me, and it’s never the same as the time before. But it’s always exciting if you embrace the process. Here’s to living and growing!

I wanted to share something I think is important for the younger followers. It’s a list of 20 financial milestones for people in their 20’s. I know how hard it is to know what you should be doing, let alone develop a long term financial plan. I think this is a great start for some things you young people can start to focus on.

http://www.genywealth.com/20-financial-milestones-reach-20s

Notice #11, take a career risk. If you’re in your twenties and have been following what I’ve been writing about, now you have someone else telling you to take that risk. The longer you wait to take a risk with your career, the harder it will get.

Comfort and Effort

December 15, 2010

I saw this quote the other day “Everything we want in life waits for us outside the comfort zone and inside the EFFORT zone!”

I disagree. I think that what we want is comfort and the only way it is earned is through effort. While you could argue that we’re saying the same things, if you go into an endeavor expecting to be uncomfortable, then you probably will be. And whenever you push yourself to give a great effort, it should be part of something bigger. Some value driven decision you made. And you should understand why you’re giving that effort. To simply say leave your comfort zone and you’ll get what you want means sacrificing happiness here and now, which is a shame.

Mechanical vs. Discretionary

December 13, 2010

When we first set out to do something, we have very little idea of what we’re going to do, and how we’re going to do it. But we believe in our own potential, so we decide to get started. In the beginning, it helps to set up a strategy or routine that is mechanical in nature, to ensure that we are following through on the things that need to get done. Then, at some future point, once we learn a little more about the environment and ourselves, we can loosen up the reigns a little bit and become more discretionary with our actions. The idea is to set up rules to keep us moving forward, and then once we’re able, we can unlearn those rigid rules and become more fluent and effective.

Responsibility

December 12, 2010

“If you do the things you need to do when you need to do them, then someday you can do the things you want to do when you want to do them.” ~ Unknown

Often times doing work you love means doing a lot of work that needs to be done in order to get to the work that wants to be done.

Inception

December 11, 2010

I just watched Inception for the first time. One of the main themes was that once an idea is planted in the brain, it has the potential to grow and the more you focus on that idea, the more power you give it.

What I hope to accomplish is to plant an idea in the mind of at least one other person. The idea that anything you want from life is possible if you believe strongly enough in it. The unwaivering faith and conviction that you can do something is in fact what makes it a reality. Believing before knowing. The stronger you believe, the faster it will happen.

I have often talked about self actualization in the realm of work and career, simply because that is where I’ve had the most experience testing my beliefs. My experiences of overcoming adversity and willing ideas into reality make me believe strongly in the power of faith, and that transcends to all areas of life. My hope is that some day, if you haven’t already, you start believing in yourself and your ability to do what you most desire.

Just like anything, there must be balance between practicality and ambition. Many people (myself included) preaches that you should follow your dreams and do what you love. But realistically, it’s not that easy. You always have to eat and pay the bills. You can’t just up and decide to start doing something completely new when you’ve already put a ton of work into your current job or relationship or endeavor. The sweet spot is to find smart ways to use the opportunities available to you to transition yourself closer to where you want to be. To follow your passion is great in theory, but it’s more of a lifelong journey than a simple change you make one day. So be practical, don’t let what you’ve already earned and accomplished go to waste, but also don’t rest on what you’ve already accomplished and let yourself go to waste. Somewhere in the middle is just where you want to be.