coming to money

“Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish,
but it will not replace you as the driver.”
Ayn Rand

My sister Miriam is a born writer, but she studiously avoided making it a career for fear of being poor. She even faked her answers to the career test given in high school to say she was better at math and science than the language arts. She got her Masters in Medical Physics and works today calibrating machines for treating cancer. But to this day she continues to reward herself with writing time if she gets all her work done.

Her number one goal was financial prosperity, and she took the path that common knowledge agreed would ensure it. It worked and she secured a 6-figure income without college debt.

Yet here’s the secret:

Science is not the safe bet it’s believed to be. Today more students graduate in fields than there are jobs to support them.

There was a technological breakthrough that created a hiring boom right when she applied to graduate school, and the newness of the field meant that it didn’t have many of the requirements it has today. She’s said more than once she didn’t think she could get hired the way its set up now, and it’s a fact there aren’t enough jobs for the number of students now in school for it.

To succeed in the “safe” career path, she had to have both miraculous luck and timing. No different than had she made a career in writing her initial goal.

The truth is no path is safe. Most professional fields involve a crippling level of student debt. No job can guarantee you won’t be laid off one day, and even getting hired can take months if not years.

I’m not stating this as a problem, but rather to invite a new perspective. Money is often considered a barrier to pursuing one’s life purpose, so people will choose safe career paths instead and forget that those are equally fraught with folly.

The difference is, when traditional jobs go wrong we blame the economy, when dreams go wrong we blame ourselves.

Success always requires bringing everything you have and more to the table. It has nothing to do with “what” you do, and everything to do with “how”.

If you bring all of your will to bear on a path with the foundational belief that it will work, then you will experience the kind of miracles Miriam did.

Luck – that is, fortunate coincidence – happens because people make it happen. Single minded intention creates opportunity.

I have a lot to say about the importance of following your purpose. Enough for a book (which I’m writing). Here I want only to make the point that it is as “safe” a pursuit as any other career path, and often easier because you don’t have to learn things that don’t come naturally to you (except maybe marketing).

You may still at certain points need to get a job to pay the bills in the process of following your passion, but if you’re looking at pouring thousands of dollars and years of your life into preparing for a career, it might as well be for something you love.

And, more often than not, the thing that you love requires a lot less time or money to get started. No one needs a college degree to write a best-selling book, but they may need to take a few classes on getting published and pay a few editors.

Don’t go to college unless its absolutely necessary for your dream. Instead, follow your passion with creativity and intelligence, and it will be a far more lucrative endeavor than traditional paths can yield.

I’m happy to say Miriam’s love of writing has persisted now to the point that she’s written three books and numerous short stories. Because purpose has a way of not leaving people alone, she’s now adjusted her focus toward writing in a manner similar to her previous pursuit of physics.

I have no doubt that within 10 years she will be a known writer. Not because of her level of talent (which is considerable), but because she has the will and discipline to succeed that makes wild luck happen. If she comes to believe writing is every bit as financially sound a field as physics, then she’ll likely be known within 5 years.

If you need help figuring out exactly what your purpose is, or the best steps to get you started, come to the next Life Purpose Activation class.