I’ll be the first to admit – there’s a lot of reasons why people do things. Many of these decisions involve gut feelings or emotional whims. Skydiving and extended road trips come to mind. These are actions that come from the mysterious energy of passion. We are not always sure why we do these things, but we know we enjoy them.
On the other hand, people also do things for logical reasons. Maybe their heart isn’t in it, but they do it anyway because they can rationalize that it’s a good idea. Painfully saving huge percentages of every check you get to pay off debt is one example. Becoming an accountant is another. And just like passionate decisions, logic can have its pitfalls too. Consider people who work hard all the time for example.
Both of these occur all the time separately, but it’s a rare and beautiful phenomenon when the two intertwine and become one. If this happens for you, I’ll find yourself in a situation where you absolutely love what you’re doing AND you know that it’s a good idea to be doing it. The better part of many people’s lives have been spent searching for this ever-elusive crossroad.
Personal development blogging has become much like that crossroad for me. And even though I pretty much stumbled upon it, I’m going to share some stories that illustrate the signs I should have seen the whole time.
Time to Get in the Way Back Machine
It was 1991, and little Fred Tracy was having his third birthday party. It wasn’t candy or a new action figure that was top on my wish list, though. It was a typewriter. Or a type-uh-writer as I called it back then. Luckily for me, I did get a typewriter, and spent the good part of many days happily typing away on it. Thanks mom and dad.
Fast forward 15 or so years to high school. Our astronomy teacher has just given us an assignment. We’re supposed to imagine what living on another planet would be like. We are to draw a picture of our planet and our space station/bubble/whatever is keeping us alive there, and then write a story that details how our colony arrived at that planet and how our little adventure plays out. He would then judge each story and deem one the winner.
As it turns out, my friend (who shall remain nameless) ended up winning. I had a casual conversation with the teacher later that day where he mentioned that he almost nominated my story for first place, except my friend’s involved an alien invasion massacre, which was just too cool to pass up.
The kicker? I wrote both stories.
Okay, so I can write at least slightly better than a group of high schoolers.
Back to little Fred. Apparently a lot of things happened when I was 3. One of those things was a nice, shiny (note: slow, noisy) computer. Fast forward 20 or so years and a carpal tunnel diagnosis later, and you’ll find that Fred turned into a Computer Science major. At least temporarily.
I have mad computer skillz. In other words, I use obscure tricks like “control+enter” when I type in a URL in a web browser to feel cool.
Did I mention I that the Computer Science thing was temporary? I finally decided Psychology was a much cooler field that actually contained real, living human females that I could actually, you know, interact with. I took my Social Psychology class twice, because it was awesome. And kind of because I forgot to turn in an important paper by first time around, granting me my first F.
Anyhow, to illustrate my point, I read books like The Science of Influence and actually tried that shit out on my girlfriend.
I have a decent understanding of why people do the things they do, even if they are unaware of it.
Oh, and I found Steve Pavlina in the personal development realm around early college. I found The Power of Now a few years later. My life was revolutionized and I never looked back.
I love personal development, a lot. A lottt.
If you take all the stuff I mentioned here, you’ll end up with four basic traits:
- Writing ability
- Computer skills
- Social (marketing) skills
- A passion for bettering myself and others.
If you take each of these skill sets and abilities, and find a place where they all intertwine, you’ll see that one obvious answer is personal development blogging. There are a lot of other potential options, but that’s the one I chose.
The main reason why this is been so powerful for me is that, as I mentioned above, everything that I do here is supported by both my skillset (logical choice) and my desires (passion). If one of these key ingredients were missing, then I wouldn’t be having nearly as much fun.
Where your passions lie? What are you naturally good at? What could you learn to be good at? Find that matrix and hold onto it, because chances are that’s what’s going to make you the happy, wealthy, and wise.
Speaking of wealthy, my next article is going to be about finding your own personal crossroads and leveraging that drive and talent for (what else?) money.
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