Little Fish in a Big Ponder

Do what you love, the money will follow.”

Does it follow, then, that if you don’t do what you love, you may become a cog in the machine, you may have regrets and wishes unfulfilled? You may be unhappy or possibly feel stuck?

A person who loves plants can be a gardener, but that won’t get you ‘the money’.  A person who loves plants can become a landscape architect and that will get you closer to ‘the money’.  What makes the difference?

Forethought.  At its simplest, a gardener applies for a job out of necessity or a love of nature, or being outdoors.  The landscape architect goes to college, studies native plants, the soil, the aeration; the design of how to interact with nature.

The same lesson in a simple rhyme, “no pain, no gain.”

Mostly applied to athletics, doesn’t it similarly mean the same?  Don’t expect a prize, an award or a trophy without effort.  Nobody is gonna give you what you want, for no reason.  Okay, Howard Hughes gave a gas station attendant $25k for letting him get some gas on a promise, but that was an un-duplicated fluke.

We choose how much effort to expend.  We choose what direction to take, or whether we stay on the same path; and there are consequences for our choices.  Wow!  Say it again.  There are CONSEQUENCES for our choices.

When I drove cross-country for 5 days in February with two four-year-olds from Ohio to California, only to find I had wrongly trusted a stranger’s description of a sight-unseen apartment for which I had already signed a one year lease, I wearily drove up to a $1200 converted garage.  At that moment, I realized I had made several choices (and just as many mistakes).  I had made the choice to take a chance on the landlord giving me an objective description.  I had made the choice to move to a very expensive area on an Ohio salary.  I had taken a chance; but the chance didn’t take me.

The decision I made, while standing in disbelief as my stress level stretched toward the moon, was that we will not stay there long.  My naive trust and mis-calculations cost more than comfort, more than just money…it cost my credit rating.  Because of that fiasco, forfeiting my deposit, a second deposit, extra storage for months in a different state, higher cost of living and current bills…I couldn’t afford a bed for two years.  I alternated sleeping with my kids in their twin beds for TWO YEARS.  I couldn’t blame the lying landlord, though.  I could only blame myself for choosing to believe her.

You made your bed.  Now lie in it.”

Those were my consequences.  My new choice was whether to admit defeat and feel like a victim, or see it as a challenge I could win.

Where any of us are today is a direct, cumulative result of our choices, like Lego building blocks connected to consequences, challenges, opportunities, lessons, victories and defeats.  How do I impart that?

Give it your best shot.”

And most importantly, try.
And then, try harder.

There are many truths in adages.  But what do I know?  I’m just a little fish in a big pond.

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