A Fatherly Guest Post: What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up?
Note: This is a guest post from my Dad, Jay. He is an entrepreneur, who found his life’s calling as a Gemologist late in his life. I wanted his perspective, for me and you, to understand how he found his (somewhat bizarre) career path. Plus, who doesn’t love it when your rents guest post on your blog?
Pops and I
I don’t know what my generation was called. I guess eventually we became the “Baby Boomers.” But when I was young and trying to figure out what to do with my life I really didn’t have a clue what to do. I knew how to race motorcycles, I loved traveling, I wanted to find work that I loved and I wanted it to be something different. I struggled for some years looking for “my thing in life.” And quite frankly, didn’t find it until later, when I was 32 years old.
But here is some advice from your dear old dad about working and finding your place in life.
One main point: Do something that you love.
Not easy you say? How can you know what it is? Yet for some people it seems easy. They know from an early age what they want to do. This advice is not for them. They know what they love and want to do.
This advice is for those of you that are perhaps a little like I was when I was younger. I just didn’t know what to do. Sure I went to college and got a degree. But I never really wanted to work in the field I had studied (I studied speech pathology and am now a Gemologist). So I kept asking: “What am I going to do with my life?”
And here is one big secret to success in life that I wish I knew when I was 20-something: You must find something you Love to do. Some work that you would do even if you didn’t get paid; you would do it for the love of it. Love or passion for your work transforms it to a pleasure or a field to play in instead of a drudgery that must be endured for money.
Never work just for money. Sure you will sometimes have to take a job to pay the bills. And maybe it’s not the work you are destined to do. But never get stuck doing just that: making money to get by. It can ruin your life and wear you down.
Here is another clue: If you seek the work you love you will find it. Don’t give up. Stick with your dream to find that something that you can be passionate about doing. Eventually, you will find it; and then it’s a game changer.
Passion for your work naturally motivates you to do and learn more and more. Passion keeps you going during the inevitable rough periods of your career and allows you to overcome and ultimately succeed. Not just in your work but in your life.
Following Your Dharma
There is a word, a concept really, that comes from one of the world’s wisdom traditions, the Vedic tradition of ancient India. That word says is all. That word is Dharma. There is no direct translation into English but vocation is close. Dharma is the work you were meant to do. It is the work or vocation that will support and nourish you and the world. It is the vocation that allows you to be aligned with your true purpose in life. And aligned with your purpose you are as powerful, charismatic, happy and successful as is possible for you.
Dad as he examines ruby rough in Burma at a Nepalese women’s market
If you find the work you love to do you will become naturally powerful. I believe everyone has a purpose in life. When you find it, align yourself with your purpose, and then you become successful. It is as if unseen forces come to your aid and give you strength, inspiration and direction that lead to greater success.
At that point, the money will come to you. You will be rewarded as well as can be hoped for. But more importantly, you will be a success in life, not just at a job.
Dad, reporting from the International Gem & Jewelry Show in Hong Kong
This is something worth going for. And it’s there for everyone. Don’t give up trying to find it. Maybe like me, you won’t find out for years. I just kept knowing that there was something out there for me that I will love to do. The same goes for you and remember, don’t let go of this belief until you find it.