This article just came across my transom, courtesy of Lissa Boles.

It’s Mike Rowe from “Dirty Jobs”, talking about what I call Micro-Rules and finding your *perfect* (whatever):

A Fan Asks Mike Rowe For Career Advice…He Didn’t Expect This Response, But It’s Brilliant. 

Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs is an awesome guy. He can build or fix anything, he’s very entertaining, and has a great sense of humor. Mike also tells it like it is and gives great advice to others. A fan wrote him and asked him for some career advice:

Hey Mike!

I’ve spent this last year trying to figure out the right career for myself and I still can’t figure out what to do. I have always been a hands on kind of guy and a go-getter. I could never be an office worker. I need change, excitement, and adventure in my life, but where the pay is steady. I grew up in construction and my first job was a restoration project. I love everything outdoors. I play music for extra money. I like trying pretty much everything, but get bored very easily. I want a career that will always keep me happy, but can allow me to have a family and get some time to travel. I figure if anyone knows jobs its you so I was wondering your thoughts on this if you ever get the time! Thank you!

– Parker Hall

And here’s the reply…

Hi Parker

My first thought is that you should learn to weld and move to North Dakota. The opportunities are enormous, and as a “hands-on go-getter,” you’re qualified for the work. But after reading your post a second time, it occurs to me that your qualifications are not the reason you can’t find the career you want.

I had drinks last night with a woman I know. Let’s call her Claire. Claire just turned 42. She’s cute, smart, and successful. She’s frustrated though, because she can’t find a man. I listened all evening about how difficult her search has been. About how all the “good ones” were taken. About how her other friends had found their soul-mates, and how it wasn’t fair that she had not.

“Look at me,” she said. “I take care of myself. I’ve put myself out there. Why is this so hard?”

“How about that guy at the end of the bar,” I said. “He keeps looking at you.”

“Not my type.”

“Really? How do you know?”

“I just know.”

“Have you tried a dating site?” I asked.”

“Are you kidding? I would never date someone I met online!”

“Alright. How about a change of scene? Your company has offices all over – maybe try living in another city?”

“What? Leave San Francisco? Never!”

“How about the other side of town? You know, mix it up a little. Visit different places. New museums, new bars, new theaters…?”

She looked at me like I had two heads. “Why the hell would I do that?”

Here’s the thing, Parker. Claire doesn’t really want a man. She wants the “right” man. She wants a soul-mate. Specifically, a soul-mate from her zip code. She assembled this guy in her mind years ago, and now, dammit, she’s tired of waiting!!

I didn’t tell her this, because Claire has the capacity for sudden violence. But it’s true. She complains about being alone, even though her rules have more or less guaranteed she’ll stay that way. She has built a wall between herself and her goal. A wall made of conditions and expectations. Is it possible that you’ve built a similar wall?

Consider your own words. You don’t want a career – you want the “right” career. You need “excitement” and “adventure,” but not at the expense of stability. You want lots of “change” and the “freedom to travel,” but you need the certainty of “steady pay.” You talk about being “easily bored” as though boredom is out of your control. It isn’t. Boredom is a choice. Like tardiness. Or interrupting. It’s one thing to “love the outdoors,” but you take it a step further. You vow to “never” take an office job. You talk about the needs of your family, even though that family doesn’t exist. And finally, you say the career you describe must “always” make you “happy.”

These are my thoughts. You may choose to ignore them and I wouldn’t blame you – especially after being compared to a 42 year old woman who can’t find love. But since you asked…

Stop looking for the “right” career, and start looking for a job. Any job. Forget about what you like. Focus on what’s available. Get yourself hired. Show up early. Stay late. Volunteer for the scut work. Become indispensable. You can always quit later, and be no worse off than you are today. But don’t waste another year looking for a career that doesn’t exist. And most of all, stop worrying about your happiness. Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs.

Many people today resent the suggestion that they’re in charge of the way the feel. But trust me, Parker. Those people are mistaken. That was a big lesson from Dirty Jobs, and I learned it several hundred times before it stuck. What you do, who you’re with, and how you feel about the world around you, is completely up to you.

Good luck,

Mike

PS. I’m serious about welding and North Dakota. Those guys are writing their own ticket.

PPS. Think I should forward this to Claire?

That’s one more reason to like Mike Rowe. He’s too cool! If you enjoyed Mike’s advice, share it with others.

Source: The Real Mike Rowe

(found again at http://www.lifebuzz.com/mike-rowe/  April 7, 2016)

The most important line is in the last paragraph: “…most of all, stop worrying about your happiness. Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs.

All I can add right now is “The grass is always greener where you water it!” – Listen for your own Micro-Rules that keep what you truly want far away from you. Make changes in how you talk to yourself, and to the Universe. Your world will change right along with you.

Blessings, all…

 

 

I resent the costs (time, energy and/or money) of living within both my values and my limitations – a lot.

Of course, I also yearn to Avoid Overwhelm, but the over-thinking that I do – in order to ACHIEVE that – leads to its own special kind of Overwhelm.

And then, I resent how easily distracted I am. Talk about yer non-productive roundy-rounds

~~~

The list of things that I’d choose to do or not, if given the choice (which means I have to decide every time!) is huge. I’m trying to systematize my decision-making {link to Joel’s post} more of these, but so many come under “It depends…”. And my ADD-ish brain keeps coming up with more conflicts that add to the ‘it depends’ list.

~~~

Intellectually, I *know* all the tips and hints and platitudes folks talk about do work. But I need to be able to see the minute, step-by-step, check-off-able “what do I do next?” bits, and trying to figger ’em out for myself often leads to reinventing the wheel. (Then I catch myself doing that, and go through a session of ‘beating myself up’ for not skipping it in the first place, and then ‘accepting that I’ve done it again’, and, and … now it’s 5 hours later, already!) Do ya see what I did there?

~~~

I’m easily distracted by: feeling cold. being hungry. being thirsty. feeling inefficient (causing duplication of effort – mine or others’). needing sleep.  being confused. not understanding the why, the how, or the priority of a project.  too many “high priority” parts. not enough time. no “extra” money. not enough money to begin with. clutter (visual). clutter (energy). the “stingies”. other people’s issues. “I wanna do (something else)”. “I don’wanna do (this)”. technical difficulties. wandering thoughts. dirty dishes. too many decisions to make before I can even get started. forgetting where I was, before I got distracted.

~~~

… This post is a direct result of wrestling with somebody else’s spreadsheet-as-delivery-route, with DIY maps. That I only deal with quarterly. AND that isn’t accurately updated (by them) in between. So, I have to re-create/re-do most of it, every damn time! (Boy-howdy, do I resent the hell out of that!

I’ll probably edit the heck out of this later, but I want/need to feel like I got *something* done today, even if it isn’t what I really *need* to get done, so here it comes…

I’m trying (still!) to pack for a week’s vacation
It’s Saturday morning, and I was planning to ‘be there’ already by now.
The car has all the ‘stuff’ already in it. Now it’s (well past) time to make decisions on what garb (clothes) to take along.
Trying to balance my guesses about ‘How hot is it going to be?” and “How cold is it going to be?” “What parts of my (new) self do I want to show off?” (or do I, really?) “How many defaults am I willing to keep, this year?”

Acckkk! So many decisions – so little time. Time to Trust myself and stop third-guessing.

~~~~~

I’ll be back in a week or so – I’ll check back…

~~~~~

I did recognize one huge fear-slash-uncertainty this morning, that I had to deal with in my heart, and I made a decision-for-now about it, and that seems to have helped hugely.

Also recognizing that “packing the car” has overtones of “must fill up all this space!!” going on…

~~~~~

Okay – on the road within 15 minutes, Girl!

I’ve just realized that Nancy Drew was my hero in grade school!    (Psycho-archaeology report 6-23-2012)

~ I was just ‘watching’ (using for audio wallpaper is more like it) Geoffrey Baer touring the Chain o’ Lakes (intriguing former playground of the rich, famous, “connected” and corrupt, NW of Chicago) in this mahogany runabout:

My first bubble-up memory was “Ooh yeah! I always wanted one of those, ’cause Nancy Drew looked so spiff on her book covers when I was  a kid!” ~ and that reminded me of how much I wanted to be her, because:

  • she had good, close friends (who would help her (un-)bury the bodies)
  • … and scads of good acquaintances (“weak connections” – I read  a really good comments-conversation recently  re: choosing a church community primarily for the social benefit of the kids… can’t find it now, though)
  • she (and her family) had plenty of cash / ready funding for any adventure (though money was never discussed, it was also never an issue)
  • she always dressed impeccably fashionably – impeccably, too, come to think of it
  • she clearly lived several-many rungs higher on the socio-economic (read: class) ladder than I did. (Most of the folks I knew even vaguely, and all of Daddy’s relatives, certainly did. And after-the-inheritances, I’ve found that my Mom’s siblings had the money, too, although it didn’t “show” the same way…)

((How did B and I miss getting that? Not the money per se, but the money-know-how. I don’t even know if B really missed it, or if I was the only one who was “somewhere else” when they gave that lecture — that education on how to marshal one’s resources and accumulate ‘wealth’ so as not to be desperately living from paycheck to paycheck? ))

  • her sleuthy thinking surely informed my “find the obscure connections – look for the work-arounds” inclinations. I wonder which is ‘chicken’ and which is ‘egg’??
  • she had easy access to nifty toys: that mahogany speedboat, her baby blue roadster, the vacation cottage, the horses…
  • she always ‘won’… she was ultimately ‘right’ – ’cause they always nailed the bad guys, yaknow! (Since she’s a Fictional Heroine, “Of course!” and even “Duh!!” would be an appropriate reaction, here. )

This is all based on my memories, mind you – I haven’t read  (or read about)  Nancy Drew books since 8th grade.

I’m pretty satisfied with what I believe I learned from ND ~ not so sure about some of the expectations I built about myself and how my life *should* be ~

Clearly, more psycho-archaeology is called for…

~~~~~

Who were your role-models when you were growing up?  Are you still happy with the things you learned from them? Do you recognize where your self-expectations came from?