Today, I drove behind a car with this question (title) on its bumper sticker. Then, at home, I came across a TEDex talk and it brought me to some years ago, when I worked as a software developer for a self-sufficient company, meaning we developed our own software for our Human Resources dept., Accounting dept., etc. I had a good salary, and could not complain about that. What I used to complain about was how the orders (more than requests) to our department were made, or better yet, demanded. They did not care if the software allowed certain things or not to happen; they wanted it done their way and period. So I would write lines in my codes sometimes that would disgust me, looking like a horrible job, looking like an intervention on the flow of the code. If you don’t know what I am talking about, I will compare it to some cake recipe. It felt like as you described putting the ingredients, you would add: “put 4 drops of vanilla, but if the cake is for Mr.Z, put 8 drops and 5 extra spoons of sugar and 1 tbsp of honey; if cake is for Mrs.D, include pink icing and a bow tie on top at the end, etc.” Gosh! That would take a small piece of me, every time I had to write that in the middle of my code. I started disliking my job, even though it challenged my mind in a way that kept me motivated to understand computers, certainly not people.
I remember one day when I received orders to do something that would mess up yet another code, and when I got in front of the screen to work, I looked up, closed my eyes, and prayed to whoever was listening “up there”. I asked to be given another chance, to have my life completely changed and get away from that job that was extracting pieces from me, while my life out of it was just wonderful. I am not going to describe it here, maybe in a later post, but I was pretty satisfied with what I had besides these things going on in my job. By the way, my job was one to keep: good salary and since it was work for the government, I had been entitled to it for all my life or until retirement, I should say. So many people in that country wish they would apply, take the test and pass to conquer a job like that; you won’t believe the things some do to get it… Back to my story, here I was asking to be given a chance to step out of that path, which was starting to take a shape too far from what I really wanted, even though I was not sure of what I wanted, but certainly not that.
Then, a few months later, it all happened. The Universe, God, Creator, or angels, or however you perceive It (I like to call it universe), brought me the chance I had asked for. I hesitated a bit and jumped for it, changing my life completely. After that, as I have already written (https://apathoflight.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/loving-what-you-do/ ), I spent a few years lost, but now I understand I needed some time to search for what I wanted. If I had stayed in that job, I would not have time to look for anything else.
So, are you ready to make time in your life for something that can make you feel alive? Check out this video with a different persons’ perspective on the same subject:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcMyX5R4dzs – it is 7min38s long; not too long, right?
So, when asked (maybe by that quiet voice inside you), “What makes you happy?”, before answering with “Going to the beach or resting in a hammock”, dig for a deeper meaning to find something that really sparkles for you and help you still be happy when you go back home, not just a temporary beach vacation. Something that will fulfill you from the inside out and fill you up with joy. We all deserve it. Good luck, and I will be cheering for you, as we need more and more sparkling people in the world inspiring each other!