I am sort of happy with my current job. I do what I want, get paid reasonably Ok. But I feel like there are other options out there which are more exciting, more challenging and rewarding. Should I explore or just be happy with the status quo?
(PS am I too late for the 25$ draw :D)
- Avradip asked 3 years ago
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Take this test
Do me a favor. Read the first chapter (or two) of the following books (you can get free samples on your Kindle/PC/iPhone via Amazon):
One talks about financial independence, and the other talks about freedom at work. After that, see which of the following two reactions you get:
- The ideas are well explained, but they do not seem realistic to me. These authors are just selling unreal dreams to people who are willing to buy them.
- Hey, this sounds unreal. But maybe, somehow, I can do something similar.
These are the reactions I have seen among people whenever I have discussed these books. Depending on your reaction, you will have an idea about which path seems right for you. And do not get me wrong — there is no right answer. It just depends on your world-view at any given time (ten years ago, my answer would have been totally different from my answer today).
Conventional and Unconventional
Now, let me tell you my personal opinion.
Here is what my conventional career has been giving me so far:
- Financial stability
- Challenging work
- The opportunity to work with one of the most brilliant minds in CT scanner algorithm design (during my Ph.D. research) [He was also one of the best people to have as an advisor]
- The opportunity to work on a product that will shape medical diagnosis for decades to come (at my current job)
As you can see, my conventional career has been rewarding me quite well.
Now, here are some things that I want to do, but my conventional career cannot “pay” me for doing:
- Write non-technical semi-philosophical stuff about things I care to write about (moonlighting, the environment etc.)
- Open a T-shirt business for puns I come up with
- Take time off whenever I want
- Earn money whenever I sleep
- Create something that has my name associated with it (a blog, a book, a company maybe?)
OK, so maybe I will not get to do all of the above things in my lifetime If you have heard my puns earlier, you might have started worrying about my “punny t-shirt” business idea. (BTW just for fun, here’s a t-shirt with a pun from lookhuman.com)
Getting back to the topic on hand. Those books I mentioned before have made me feel that there is more to life than only 9-to-5. It is the same things you mention — “excitement, challenge, and reward”, that I aim for. And I currently strive to get those with a healthy mix of challenging work at my day job, and writing and other explorations in my moonlighting time.
For me, the choice was clear when I read the first few chapters of the book. For you, the choice can become clear too when you put yourself through such a test. Actually, I talked about independence in financial matters and at work. But you can pick up any book depending on the type of challenging/rewarding/exciting work that you are shooting for. Books, after all, are a vehicle to another person’s mind, and you can choose which person’s book attracts you the most.
What fires you up will ultimately sustain you in the years to come…
In the end, it is personal happiness that matters the most. And only you can choose what makes you happy.
- That's good advice. I'll try to read the books. I think I read a few pages of the first book long time back. But the problem is, my non work activities (e.g. watching trashy movies, playing chess, learning tennis, ski, etc) are taking all of my free time, as a result I hardly have any time to read books... Moonlighting is a distant dream. As u said, personal happiness is most important. Problem with me is, at any given instant I am always super happy, but when I look back it feels like I haven't really achieved any thing. It's like an infinite loop, u go to a party, get drunk, have lots of fun, next morning u realize what a waste of time it was. But by evening, u are again preparing to go out and do the same thing.
- Haha... The comparison with infinite "party" loop reminded me of "Ultimate party girl" Deepika in The Viral Fever's DisgRACE 2 video [1:12 @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcEQqPuz7Jw]. =============================================== Jokes aside, you raise a very good point. You mention that you are always super happy (hey, guess that is something incredible just by itself). Why then do you care about "other options"? Maybe the way you lead life is just right for you. Maybe there is a book that propounds your way of life? [ I have not read this book, but the teaser describes how waiting for the next big thing in life (and making the most of the "in-between" period) is an important part of life's journey: http://www.amazon.com/-Between-Embracing-Tension-Between-Thing/dp/0802407242/ref=la_B005BH1OB6_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411612640&sr=1-2 ] =============================================== The other thing you mentioned... "looking back and feeling that you didn't really achieve any thing". Ask yourself what you really want to achieve. =============================================== I find that I care about a few things an unreasonable amount: (1) seeing my name in print, (2) being well-known for something, (3) have some time to myself every day... Not all of these make logical sense, and I did not choose these (e.g. it "might" have been better if I cared more for money than I did for seeing my name in print)... but these observations just happen to be true for me =============================================== What are such seemingly "illogical" things that you deeply care about? Once you know these, try to think how you can shape your life so that you make sure you achieve these things in the next 1-3 years.
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