Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | October 23, 2006

i couldn’t have said it any better

He always knows just what to say when I can’t quite figure it all out. The last few months I’ve been having a blatant breakdown at 29 years old and questioning how I want to spend the next 30 years of my working career. I’ve tossed around every idea. Not to long ago I wanted to be a race car driver in Italy. I’d simply sell everything and begin marketing myself. My next brillant desire was to be radio city music hall dancer, a physical therapist, or work on becoming the national domino champ. Perhaps he’s had enough of my “what if I did this” or I’ve just sent in my resume to the Jim Rose Circus because it was the silliest thing I could come up with. Next to being a Cheetah Girl that is. Perhaps, I should have been surprised that he took the time to write the letter and not his Am Ex number, he’d never do that.Then again, he is my Dad.

Email this morning titled: From Dad (sent from Mom)

I know you are trying to decide what you want to do. It seems like everyday you have a new idea: dental sales in Las Vegas, Bike Sales wherever, oil and gas in Oklahoma, flight attendent, etc. My advice is to decide what you want to do, not what will give you the most money. then come up with a plan on doing that thing. Make a list of what you need to do to have that career/job, and what sacrifices, if any, you will have to make to get it.
In your twenties it is not of primary importance to be doing something you enjoy, but as you enter your thirties you will find that changes. Things that were important two years ago won’t matter at all two years from now. In your twenties you spend your time in the periphery of your life, with people that are fun but not fulfilling, with activities that are exciting but not rewarding.
As you grow into the center of your existence it becomes geometrically more important that you make choices based upon what is critical to your happiness and well being, and that you work like hell to make those choices become part of your life. Study techniques, employers look for something different from a thirty year old than they do from a twenty-five year old. Before you send an e-mail to someone important, send it to yourself first and read it out loud to make sure it expresses what you want it to express, and that it is accurate in every way…from thought to grammar (I still do this). Go to the library and read Steven Covey’s 7 habits of highly effective people….easy read and great ideas.
And most important, don’t give up on yourself and don’t blame others. Self pity is a waste of energy, and people who blame others all the time have made the decision to be a vicitm. And victims are never happy because their life is controlled by others. Be positive. Winners win because they believe they can win. Losers sit around doing nothing because they think they can’t do what they want.


  1. Your dad sounds like a pretty smart guy. It’s good advice.

    I love my father, but for most of my life the only advice he’d ever give me was “Make your own choices. You’re the only one that has to live with them.” It’s not bad advice, as that stuff goes, but a little light on actual utility.
    The best advice I’ve ever gotten, though, comes from a friend of mine who’s been in A.A. for years and years. It comes right out of their Big Book. “When agitated, pause.” That’s been more helpful than anything else.

    I think I’d rather have gotten the advice your dad gives you, though.

  2. I concur with your father.

  3. Hey Jess…I’ve got the 7 Habits if you want to borrow it. I also have a supplement called “Living the 7 habits”. Let me know!

  4. i still have somebody i want you to meet…yeah, i know…don’t have a heart attack…

  5. I think you should be a professional job tester. Try jobs out, then write up what it’s really all about for others to use as their personal guide of ‘what to do with my career’.

    Therein you may 1. sample multiple jobs and always experience new things, 2. continue to write about your experiences, 3. have dual incomes – both the job being tested, and an income to supplement that by writing the job experiences up and selling the info/experience, and 4. have a unique career that is ironic in its very existence.

    This is definitely what you should do. I posted it as a comment on my site first, and re-read it before posting it for you. So I’m sure it’s right.

  6. A very smart man. You are very lucky to have him in your life. Take his words to heart and do what you want to do not what you will make yo the most money. Life is much more rewarding, when you stop counting in only material things.

  7. Your dad sounds exactly like my dad. Do you think it’s a generational thing? Or is your dad a Gemini?

  8. I wish I would listen to your dud.

  9. I like your dad’s advice. I may adopt it for myself…

  10. As someone living in her thirties, I wish my dad had told me something like this in my twenties. Hindsight is a bitch, but looking back and reflecting, he is SO right.

    I spent my teens thinking my father was a moron, my twenties thinking he was idiot. Now that I’ve reached my thirties, I realize I’M the idiot, and by the time I hit forty, I’m sure it will become apparent who the true moron was…. šŸ™‚