Keys to personal success

For a lot of years I had a job where I made good money, but it never really did anything for me or my soul. I felt like there was no purpose to my work other than the money. I tried to do a good job everyday so that I could feel a sense of accomplishment when the day was done, but it never really came. I even got told on occasion that I was far to intelligent to do the job that I was doing. While I agreed with that assessment every time that it was mentioned I would quickly forget about it because I was able to pay my bills and pass the time rather effortlessly. After all, it’s not all that difficult to sit in your car and drive around all day long listening to music and sports. I mean, what other job do you get to do that while getting paid pretty well?

That was my thought process throughout the first decade in the courier business; good money, plenty of freedom, and enjoying my time alone with the radio to keep me company. But, I never really felt any personal accomplishment or success.

As time moved on, I began to notice that my stops would take longer and longer to make each day. Then I realized that I would carry on lengthy conversations at just about every stop I went to, and it was almost always about sports. I began to track those conversations and they always seemed to be a little different because people have different interests. But in each instance, I always had an opinion and usually more than my far share of knowledge even though I didn’t bring pick the topic. I began to notice that I felt far more satisfaction during these little interactions than with the actual work I was performing.

Even though I started to figure out what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be I didn’t have any idea how to make that happen. I was afraid to give up any work to pursue my passion because I had no idea where to start or what I really needed to do. Because of that fear, I did nothing about it for quite a while. That’s when a few things happened to change my outlook on what I really needed to do.

Neither experience was a fun one for me, but both helped open the door for me to be the path that I am on today. The first thing that helped changed my outlook came in the form of a car accident. In said accident, I did some serious damage to my back (a compression fracture in my spine) and was told that I wasnt able to do anything active for six months. That did two things for me that made me start to seriously rethink my path. It took me off the field and the court for a long time. That helped me realize how much I just adored sports and being around them. Since I couldn’t play myself, I began to watch games even more than I already was. The other thing it did for me was I began to loathe my job. I hated getting up each morning and hit the road for the simple fact that it was very painful. I only missed a few hours because of the accident and was back to work next day. Looking back on it now, it wasn’t a very bright idea to go back to work so quickly and in such pain, but I did because my insurance company said that if I could work that I should. They explained that I wouldn’t be able to recoup the money I would lose if I didn’t. Not exactly how you would think my vision would change, but it was definitely the start for me. The next thing that happened wasnt quite as painful (at least physically), but it gave me the one thing I had been lacking for so long, TIME. I must have used upwards of 100 hours per week between work and playing sports, which left me very little time for anything else. That was until I lost a substantial amount of work. I was back to playing sports at night, but now I had plenty of free time during the day to do what I wanted (and what I am meant) to do. I had been saying for years that I was going to start my own sports blog if I ever had the time. Now it was finally there and I took full advantage. The plan was to start out slowly with a story here and there to see if it was something I really wanted to do. I found out two things rather quickly. I found out that I loved to write about sports and the second was that I wasn’t half bad at it. The more I enjoyed my time doing research and writing stories the more the ideas poured in. I had plenty of people tell my not to write so much because the ideas would dry up, but that hasn’t happened to date. Once one story ends, another idea is waiting for me to dive into.

Even though I started with plenty of passion and ideas, I had no goals as to where this new obsession would lead. After all, there are a million and one bloggers out there and it seems like 80 percent of them write about sports. Thats when another door opened for me. Within the first three weeks of writing I was contacted on twitter and asked if I would like one of my stories to be published. At first, I thought it must be some kind of joke because I didn’t know that kind of thing was possible. I granted my permission and the next thing I knew, I had a story on the Deseret News website, DeseretNews.com. I was overjoyed at the chance to have something that I wrote go out to the masses in such a mainstream way. After all, that was the publication I read from the time I moved to Utah. That was one of the first times in a long time that I felt any real personal success that didn’t take place on the field or on the court. One thing was clear, it was something that I never felt at work.

Since that point, I have continued to write on a daily basis and have been lucky enough to get my fair share of stories published. It still gives me a rush each time it happens because I know that my voice and opinion is getting out there for the world to see and hear. As stories began to get picked up on a regular basis, I have had the chance to do a handful of radio interviews. That has opened my eyes to something else that I feel like I am destined to do. Along with writing about sports, I have been blessed with the gift to talk about them for hours at a time. Since I have that talent, what better way to fulfill that than to have my own talk radio show. All I do is talk sports anyway (just ask my wife) so I might as well put that to good use.

 

From these experiences I have learned a few things that are valuable takeaways for anyone on any path.

 

1. Money can never make you happy. It’s nice to have and can get you some cool stuff, but it doesn’t bring the kind of fulfillment that will last throughout your life.

2. If you want to have success that is meaningful, you have to do what you love. Things I did for just a few weeks brought far more satisfaction than anything I ever did at work.

3. We can still reach our dreams even if we figure out what they are later on in life. It’s never too late to get where you want to go once you know what that is.

4. Passion drives me far more than money ever has. I don’t want to be a great writer for the paycheck it will bring, I want to be great because I love it. That passion will take me so much farther than any dollar amount ever could.

I am truly grateful to have figured out the things that I am meant to do even though the path to get here has been a strange one indeed. There are still plenty of steps to take to reach all of my dreams and to fulfill all my goals, but I am blessed to know what it takes to get there.  Life hasn’t always easy and there have been plenty of obstacles along the way but with this knowledge I have the desire to get to where I am supposed to go. And that has brought me more success than I could have ever imagined.

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