Confusing Great With Fate…

How did you decide on your current career? For many, perhaps it was a subject in High School or college that we earned an “A” in or that mildly interested us. For others it was a friend, a teacher or a family member that said, “You know, you’d be GREAT at [fill in the blank].”

We went to college and earned the right to work in our fields. We survived the training and the institutes to be considered qualified. Fast forward a few (or for some many) years and we start feeling unfulfilled. Some of us complain about our coworkers. Some complain about the bureaucracy and others complain about the routine or the predictability. We may have reached that proverbial glass ceiling and find ourselves with a crook in our necks from looking up so much or we may have one toe on the greener grass just right next door. No matter the reason, we find ourselves wishing for something either better or… different. I think I may have figured it out.

Just because I am good or great at something does not mean that is what my mission in life is. I’m great a typing, but would not be caught dead as a court reporter. I’m great at cooking, but would not want to serve as a chef. I’m great at teaching and take my job very seriously but find that my dissatisfaction with the system – the overcrowded classrooms, the politicization of education as far as charter vs. public and the dog chasing the tail practice that we call standardized testing leaves me sad, frustrated and irritated on a regular basis. Magic Johnson was great at playing basketball, but what he is accomplishing as an entrepreneur is so much more incredible and meaningful. In fact, I’d argue that his playing basketball is what put him in the position (financially and in terms of resources) to be the mogul that he is today. It may have even prepared him mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

In my mid twenties, I committed to the “change or don’t complain” mantra and in this case I’m working on the “change” so that I can stop complaining.

I started asking myself questions like, “If I could do anything for a living, what would I do?” “How much money needs to be made in order to sustain the lifestyle that I have for my family?” “What do I find myself doing when I’m not, ‘working’?” I know that God wants us to leave the earth as better individuals than when we entered it and I truly believe that God employs ambassadors here on earth to represent his will and his nature. Whatever path that my career takes, I know that I must be working for the sake of helping others to improve their lives. I also know that my husband, my step children and my future children need my support, guidance and time, so whatever I do must allow me that time and mental & emotional space to be available and present for them. Am I the only one struggling with this career thing?  If you believe you’re working in your “fate,” how did you know that you were doing what you were called to do? Besides Magic Johnson, are there others who you believe were called to do what they are doing?

8 Comments

Filed under Inspiration, Work

8 responses to “Confusing Great With Fate…

  1. Rhymefest

    Inspirational as always babe, you know how I feel about rapping even though I’m great at it, but as my wife you also know where my real passions lay. I feel so close to this piece like it was written for me. I promise I’ll finish this next album to get us to the next stage on our Magic Johnson mission. I love you dear.

    • Hey Babe!
      Thanks for leaving the comment. Honestly, this piece was written for both of us. I think we know what our mission is, now we just have to execute it! I love you soooo much! xoxoxo

  2. Am I the only one struggling with this career thing?
    Nope. I have all of those same questions. My goal now is to find a low-stress job (if that’s possible) so that I can focus my energy on the things I do love but don’t generate income.

    If you believe you’re working in your “fate,” how did you know that you were doing what you were called to do?
    I’m not sure about my “fate” but I know writing is my gift. It’s the only thing I invest time in without feeling drained. There are times when I’m not in the mood to write and I do take my breaks; but the process of writing and editing feels natural so it’s easy to commit to it. That is not the case w/ my other creative interests or my career.

    Besides Magic Johnson, are there others who you believe were called to do what they are doing?
    I believe a lot of us are doing what we’re called to do but b/c it doesn’t generate income we don’t realize it. My sister is a natural at mentoring women of all ages. She could do turn it into an income generating career but she hasn’t and I don’t think she needs to.

  3. I have battled with many of these questions for a while, and realized in college just before graduation that I was focused on all the wrong things career wise. I have had to work full-time jobs as a single-mother to support myself and be able to start-up EYTT. Since graduating college, I’ve essentially sacrificed everything to launch my dream and do what I believe I was called to do.

    The grass is not greener on the other side though considering anything you do, whether it’s your passion or not, brings many challenges. However, nothing compares to being your own boss and learning so much from your entrepreneurial experiences. Essentially, you decide your fate and I think many of us think we have to institutionalize ourselves and become part of the “machine” to advance in life.

    Not so. Yet, being a non-conformist is no cake walk. If anything, I feel that this road of service can be even more trying than any other venture because there’s so much risk, and little financial gain if any (people don’t/shouldn’t start NPO’s to make money). Nonetheless, if done with a pure heart to do what God has employed you to do, I believe the rewards will be greater than any materialistic riches.

    So whatever your passion is, do it. Take that leap of faith and dive right in. When I quit my “safe” job to live off my savings and launch EYTT, I told myself, “Whatever happens, I will be able to look back at this time in my life and feel confident in knowing that I gave it my all.” No regrets!

    Good luck, Donnie!

    • “Nonetheless, if done with a pure heart to do what God has employed you to do, I believe the rewards will be greater than any materialistic riches.”
      This is where my mindset is. my mom is not too happy but I can’t kill myself with stress just for money.

  4. @NinaG your post was refreshing! I have been single-minded in thinking that what I love should be able to generate income, but there are examples of people who do things they love without generating income. In fact, the things we love can be the “break” that we give ourselves from other stress in life. Thanks for your insight!

    @ EYTT Thank you for the reminder to be realistic about approaching our passions and how sometimes it can be just as hard (if not harder) than a more traditional career path. I admire you for pursuing your dream! It is also important to just jump in with both feet and both eyes open. Good luck on your journey too and thanks for following the blog!

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