From the Inbox

I’m going to start posting some of my answers to readers’ email here on the Blog, as a lot of it seems useful to a wider audience than one.

…I enrolled in a technical school for computers because I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I realized during this time that I am not interested in learning computers….The job is tolerable but I don’t have a passion for it. I want out.

Do you think there comes a time in someones life when they should just be satisfied with what they are doing? I mean you can always write and learn about interesting things on the side. There are a lot of cool things in life to enjoy. Love, Family, Reading, The outdoors. Maybe I should be happy to have a job? Should a job be something that you were meant for? Something that you have an extreme passion for?

Well, that’s the big question of life. How much is happiness based on the acceptance of one’s circumstances, and how much is it based on one’s ability to change his circumstances. Are we happy because we make a place for ourselves to be happy, or because we surrender to the place we’re in?

I think it’s a bit of both. This is why I wouldn’t think of things in terms of epic decisions – moments of truth. You can be happy to have a job and still look to the incremental changes you need to make – not changes in order to be happy, but changes that are necessary for you to accomplish what it is you want to get done in this life.

Having a job is a great thing, in its way. You get to eat and pay rent. And there’s nothing wrong with using your job as a tool rather than as a form of self-definition. You can always use the time and income it affords you to do something else for the passion.

As for your school, it sounds a bit more like a technical institute than an academic setting. Very job-focused. I’d get finished with them, and then think about what you really want to LEARN.

But you can do all these things in baby steps. One course at night, or one book that you work on in the evening or weekends.

As for me and my own path, I’ve tried not to worry too much about my self or my self-improvement. I try not to make career or education decisions based on whether they will ‘fulfill’ me or lead to my greater happiness. I always start from the changes I want to see in the world, and then get the training or the orientation I need to make them.