All of my life I have seen people who are hungry for meaning and sell their soul to get it.
What do I mean? I am talking about people feeling that they need to have a purpose in their life and so they choose their purpose based on what is the easiest for them. If they grew up in a religious family the easiest choice is to be religious. If they grew up in a wealthy family the easiest choice is to stay in the family business.
I’m not saying that the easiest choice is the wrong choice for people. I don’t know. What I am saying is that often other choices are not considered because people hate to think, and they hate to work even more.
There is a famous book called “Don’t make me think” that talks about how things should be designed so that what needs to be done can be done as simply as possible. I agree UI that makes perfect sense, but for your life’s meaning it leaves a lot to be desired.
I’ll give you an example. As a kid, I thought that being a chef could be a fun occupation. I liked to cook as a kid and it seemed like an easy job. Then when I got older I thought I could be a psychologist because I was good at understanding people. Then I thought I could be a minister. Since that also seemed like a worthy goal at the time. Later I would be asked to help people with their computer problems since they know I liked my computer and then people started paying me for help.
I fell into my job but it wasn’t easy. This is not to brag but if I had done some of those other skills I had it would have been an easier life for me. To be a chef is in high demand, cheap training and it is steady work. Psychologists would be highly paid and in demand. I had the opportunity to be a minister many times but I didn’t feel that it was the right choice for me at the time. All of these would have been easier than doing IT but I couldn’t see myself doing that forever.
Economic opportunity is difficult for some people. I get it. Growing up in a small town most people moved away because of the lack of jobs. Other people joined the military because the ways to support themselves were limited. I knew the military wouldn’t take me even though they called me. I didn’t fit their medical requirements.
I saw people in that small town do things that were insulting to their intelligence and character just because they had no other financial choice. I wasn’t going to play that game, so I came to a big city and opened my opportunities. Working in IT hasn’t been easy but it has given me a chance to have a life I never could have had where I grew up.
This post is not to talk about my life but rather to say that even though my life has been a challenge, I wouldn’t have chosen any other way. I had to face challenges to get where I am at and people who don’t challenge themselves rarely grow. My goal is not to glorify me but rather to say that if this ignorant small-town boy can change so can you.