Thoughts From The Farm, 3/24/17

So many people fall into a rut in their careers.  Not necessarily bad, but just a rut.  You have a solid job, work with nice people, fairly paid with a decent benefits package.

Absolutely nothing is “wrong”, but it just doesn’t feel right.  Almost like you are simply going through the motions.

Maybe you have been in that job just a bit too long.  When a horse gets old and the gums recede, the teeth appear longer.  The gig is… “long in the tooth”.

Maybe it never really excited you, but it checked all the boxes: respectable to society, made mama and daddy proud, and provided a roof over the family’s head.

Yet…it just feels like you are not living to your full potential, and not close to tapping into your talent.

You probably succeeded in life by listening to other’s advice on your road to respectable normalcy, and things are “just fine”.  But deep down inside, you regret not aggressively pursuing your dreams and interests.

I know.  You have responsibilities, and don’t have time for day dreaming about what could have been.

But…why not?

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”  Helen Keller

I still enjoy working on a vibrant trading floor, and I know my job well after many years.  However, in the fall of 2016, as I approached the big 5-0, I thought about whether or not I was fully utilizing my talents.

The answer?  No.  I was not, so I took action.

I refreshed my “work purpose”, and took a current inventory of my strengths and interests.

My purpose is to use life experiences, intellect and energy to help highly motivated and determined people to accomplish their goals.

My strengths are the ability to connect with and recognize attributes in others, self-expression via writing and verbal skills, interesting life experiences and the intellect to grasp a wide range of topics including geo-political, financial, history and human relationships.

My interests are mentoring, building bridges between different people, teaching complex topics in an understandable manner, building relationships and helping the veterans community.

So…

What I could do, immediately, consistent with my purpose, strengths and interests?

What could I do, immediately, that would amplify the reach beyond the relatively small amount of people that I had the time to meet with in person?

A major part of the answer was to launch The Wise Blackhawk blog.  So, I googled a few how-to-start-a-blog articles, and then jumped in…and I loved it.

Regardless of how busy you are, start taking the time to discover what interests you.  

When you figure that out, take some immediate steps towards getting involved.  They can be baby steps, as long as you get moving.  Don’t go out and sell the house or liquidate the college funds or savings accounts.  Just get involved…

First thing is to determine if you really enjoy it.  If you love painting, start painting.  If you love cooking, start cooking.  If you love coaching, start coaching.  Nothing fancy, and you don’t have to make a big splash.  Don’t worry about making a fool of yourself, or people criticizing you.  It doesn’t matter.  Quote:  “The Man In The Arena”

The only thing that matters is that you don’t end up on your death bed (hopefully years from now) saying “I wish I would have…”.

No regrets.

If you enjoy it, that’s good.  If not, find something else and take another bite of life’s apple.  This is the beauty of life.  Exploration.

The inertia generated by taking action will create opportunities for further expansion that you may not currently imagine.  If you determine that you truly enjoy “it”, then start to consider ways to turn it into an income providing endeavor.  Or just keep it fun, and it will liven up the rest of your life.

Often times, people look at someone who is pursuing their passions and attribute it to good luck.

It’s not luck; it is serendipity.  Luck is chance.  Serendipity occurs when you are deliberately moving through life with purpose.  And then good things just seem to happen…

3 thoughts on “Thoughts From The Farm, 3/24/17

  1. Great post! I myself was there 3 years ago (the Big 5-0 that is), went through the same thought process and took a big plunge last year…I took early retirement and ventured out on my own, I figured, “If not now then when. At 60?”, not likely…I thought “If you fail, just get back into the work-force wherever you can with no regrets” so here I am. BTW, I worked at Wells, Charlotte for many years, we never met but I think I’ve seen you around so “Hey”

  2. Hey, Mr Van Burren this is the 17 year old kid who got the opportunity to meet you during the wonderful tour of Wells Fargo’s trading floors. By the way I’m the one who said I wouldn’t do a paid internship at Wells F. for $200,000/year. I was joking around, but I was also serious because I’d do it for free in order to learn to my full potential. The reason I say this is because I follow a man named Robert Kiyosaki the author of “Rich Dad Poor Dad” and he has a saying that states, “When you are young work to learn not to earn.” I know that doesn’t necessarily mean don’t earn, but in short I’m so passionate about learning about the financial industry that giving me a paycheck wouldn’t mean anything to me.

    I just wanted to say that your blog is touching and it has major substance, value worth more than that of gold or any commodity with great intrinsic value. The words that I read in this blog are words that I know you truly live by just from my short time being around you. Thank you.

  3. Julian – Your e-mail means so much to me, and it validates everything positive I hope to do through this blog. I sent you an e-mail…FVB

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