In the past few days, I have been reminded of something which I learned 6 years ago.
Steve Job’s 2005 commencement address at Stanford University has been getting a lot of airplay these past few days. When he made that speech 6 years ago, one part of it in particular resonated with me:
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
(to view the commencement address in full, click here: Steve Jobs Stanford commencement address)
June 2005 was when I chucked in the day-job and went full-time into pet-sitting. Back then, a lot of people whom I told were aghast – give up the ‘proper’ job and spend my days picking up cat poop? Horrors! (Who am I kidding, people still react that way today – “You were a lawyer? And now you walk dogs? What a waste!”)
You know what, though – Steve Jobs was right. If you know that something is the right thing for you to do, then you have to do it. Everything else – people’s opinions, loss of ‘prestige’, serious shrinkage of the paycheck (my hourly charge-out rate is less than 10% of what it would have been had I stayed in practice, ouch), all those other considerations – secondary.
The joy that I get from my job now is something that cannot be quantified. I make my living being myself: a crazy cat lady! I spend my days doing what I love to do, and what I know I am good at. I am constantly learning new skills, and providing better and better care for the animals whom I am looking after. There is a lot of satisfaction to be had from that.
And how many people do you know who wake up on a Monday morning and say, “I can’t wait to get to work and see my clients”?