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Thursday, September 14, 2006
Fun vs. Work
I had some down time today in a waiting area so I picked up a magazine to read. I wish I could quote it directly but it was some kind of outdoors magazine. It caught my eye because the main story on the cover was about fun jobs. I am always interested in fun jobs so I read the article.

Essentially, the article was about several different people who found a way to combine things they love doing (primarily outdoor activities) with their regular jobs so they could have the best of both worlds. One person was a doctor who traveled regularly to Africa to rough it and teach malaria disease control. Another was a fellow who worked in Yosemite National Park as a PR guy between park authorities and rock climbers.

As I was reading through this, the thought kept coming to me that reality is generally not that generous. The lady doctor had graduated med school and blew off internship to go to Africa and make $16000 a year. My practical mind automatically says “What? No student loans to pay off?” The rock climber guy had attained a degree in philosophy from Yale. Again, my practical mind said, “Well, of course he took a rock climbing job. There are no jobs in philosophy.”

My point is that the article was a bit unrealistic. Does that mean you can’t combine fun and work? Absolutely not! In fact, the most successful people are people who are working in jobs that are enjoyable, challenging, and fit their personalities. Most successful people also have a good hold on reality while climbing their personal career ladders. They understand that balancing priorities is a key to finding success in life.

What defines success is as diverse as the world’s population. Some people define it by money, some by milestones, some by happiness, and others by inner satisfaction. What is success for you might not be that attractive to me. The key is to find what you value and build your life around it while still living in the real world. We hold responsibilities to other people other than ourselves and sometimes it’s easy to forget that in our self-centered society. Can anyone who neglects the people in their lives be truly successful in the long run?

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