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Following Your Heart, Not the Money

About The Author

Dan is a proponent of Open Source Matters and an avid supporter of The Linux Foundation. He runs Linux Mint 14 Cinnamon and Mate on all his PC platforms, including his laptops, netbook and Desktop tower. Dan has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics, a Master of Science degree in Information Technology with a specialty in network architecture, and has completed all his course requirements and two colloquia toward his Ph.D. in IT Education. Until just recently, Dan was employed by Capella University as an adjunct faculty teaching assistant but the program was terminated after a year-and-a-half and he was laid off along with the entire TA staff just prior to the holidays. Dan holds a Post-Masters Certificate in College Teaching from Capella University which he received in July, 2012.

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I came to the stark realization tonight of something that hit me like a ton of bricks. It has presented itself to me as plainly as the nose on my face for many years but I just haven’t been awakened enough to be fully aware of it. What I’m referring to may shock you but here goes. I’m talking about doing what one enjoys most in life rather than what one should do to get the most in return from a monetary perspective.

If you ask young children today what would you want to do, what would you want to pursue in life if money were no object, the response you’ll likely receive might surprise you. Most young children today would say that they would like to be a painter, a poet, or a writer. Heaven knows they won’t stand any chance of making money doing that as an occupation in life. But, what they would do is enjoy what they’re doing.

The realization that I’ve come to tonight, looking retrospectively over my lifetime, is that I’ve always pursued those things in life that I felt would make me the most money rather than those things that would bring me the most pleasure in the doing. Now that I’m unemployed for the second time in my life with relatively no prospect of returning to work fulltime, I see more clearly now that one shouldn’t pursue a vocation in life for the money but rather to do what one loves best and, hopefully, the money will follow. If one does what one enjoys most in the doing, then s/he will become a master of that pursuit. It’s the only way that one can master something simply because the effort s/he will put into it will be far greater than what would have been exerted otherwise.

Therefore, I am going to concentrate my efforts into web design and graphic arts. I enjoy doing that more than anything right now. The Internet has become my canvas, and coding, my paintbrush. I would like to pursue website design and graphic arts either in the doing it or in the teaching of it to others. My PhD program is on hold at the moment because I no longer have the funds to continue that pursuit even though I have completed all my course requirements with a 4.000 GPA. What once was a dream for me to acquire a doctorate in IT Education has quickly faded due to my current circumstance. Having been placed in this situation has made me take a hard look at what it is that makes me happy. Working a fulltime job somewhere isn’t it. Working with people like small business owners in developing eCommerce Websites to support their businesses does. If I sound as though I’ve lost my mind, then perhaps I have. But, frankly, as I approach the downside of this life-long rollercoaster ride, I have started to take a more introspective assessment of what makes Dan happy. I feel like it’s time to jump out of that plane at 10,000 feet and parachute to the ground…something that I had the opportunity to do many years ago and passed it by. It’s time to climb that mountainside and forget about the prospects of falling to my death if the rope slips from the grommet. It’s time to start living and doing what makes me happy, not what will make me rich. I hope you understand.

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