Most people just skip over articles or even entire publications if they don't see an immediate application to their life. Not me. The more unrelated to my life, the more intrigued I am.
Case in point was a supplement in my local paper that was dedicated to equestrians. I like horses and all, but I am not even remotely connected to the horse world. To me, that's all the more reason to dive in.
I scanned the articles, but as usual, what I was really drawn to were the advertisements. Why? Ads reveal all kinds of interesting ways people with a particular interest have found a way to earn a living. Among the ads for such obvious businesses as tack shops and veterinarians was an ad for "quality equine laundry." Who knew?
I quickly discovered that the company will "clean, refurbish, and return each blanket spotless, repaired, and wrapped with tissue in a zippered plastic case." They also promise to make Velcro stick again and to air-dry the blankets on a special rack to avoid shrinkage. This enterprising company will arrange for pick up anywhere in New England.
Another headline in my local paper trumpeted the fact that a guy had recently bought a local trophy and engraving shop. I don't have a big need for trophies, but I know when it comes to entrepreneurs, there's always more to a story than the headline.
I was right. It seems the new shop keeper, then 51-year-old Russell Wilkinson, has had a pretty varied background. According to the article, Russell had worked in construction, been an electrician, owned his own shoe repair shop, been a security chief at a local park, delivered packages for UPS, owned a local restaurant, and trained to be a scuba diving instructor in Key West.
People often ask Russell why he doesn't just get a regular job. His reply? "If I'd done that, it would have been the biggest waste of the most expensive education a person can have." Read that line again. It's a powerful reminder that despite all the pressure to find that "one thing" you're good at and then stick to it for the rest of your life, having a varied occupational life -- whether as an employee or an entrepreneur can make life a whole lot more interesting.
It also reminds us that no experience is wasted. So many people went to school for things that have nothing to do with the work they do today. I never view past training, jobs, or even relationships as wasted time. All of our past experience adds up to lessons learned and therefore who we are today.
Clues to your calling, clues to success are all around you. As you go about your day make sure to tune into things that, on their face, seem unrelated to your life. Keep your eyes -- and your mind -- open and you just might find more than you expected.
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Contact the AuthorDr. Valerie Young
Profiting From Your Passions Career Change Expert and Expert on the Impostor Syndrome
Dr. Valerie Young's web site
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Books by this Author
Finding Your True Calling
Finding Your True Calling: The Handbook For People Who Still Don't Know What They Want To Be When They Grow Up – But Can't Wait To Find Out! When you discover your True Calling, you may find your life taking you in unexpected directions. You see, anyone can get a 9-to-5 (or maybe for you it’s more like 8-to-late) J-O-B. A job is something that pays the bills but all too often fails to feed the spirit. And when your spirit is starved for meaningful satisfying work, your happiness suffers. But that’s not all. Do you believe you were put on this earth to sit in commuter traffic, to suffer through the performance evaluations and reorganizations, to have to answer to a boss that is well… you know…. Were you really created to spend your life having the Sunday night blues? Or Do You Believe, As I Do, That You Were Put Here to Follow a Calling That Is Uniquely Yours? If the idea of loving what you do appeals to you, the way I see it… here are your options: You can keep plodding along week after week hoping that inspiration will somehow, someway suddenly strike and – in a flash – your true calling will be revealed.
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Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It Do you dismiss your accomplishments chalking them up luck, timing, charm? Are you crushed by even constructive critism seeing it as proof of your ineptness? Do you worry that others will find out you're really not as bright and capable as they think you are? If so... Welcome to the club! It's called the impostor syndrome and it's estimated that 70 percent of people have experienced these feelings of intellectual fraudulence. Find out how to beat the impostor syndrome so you can finally see yourself as the intelligent competent person you really are!
The Secret Thoughts of Successful Women
Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It Why Capable People Suffer from the Impostor Syndrome and How to Thrive in Spite of It Do you dismiss your accomplishments chalking them up luck, timing, charm? Are you crushed by even constructive critism seeing it as proof of your ineptness? Do you worry that others will find out you're really not as bright and capable as they think you are? If so... Welcome to the club! It's called the impostor syndrome and it's estimated that 70 percent of people have experienced these feelings of intellectual fraudulence. Find out how to beat the impostor syndrome so you can finally see yourself as the intelligent competent person you really are!