What would you do with a million dollars?

By Saturday, December 4, 2010 0 , , , , Permalink 1

I watched Office Space last night, which is a must watch movie for anyone who works in an office. The movie talks about a guy that absolutely hates his job, and mentions a school counselor that posed the question:

“What would you do if you had a million dollars?”

That’s what you should be doing for the rest of your life. That’s your calling, your career. He did not have an answer for that… neither do I.  Can it be this easy? I have to disagree.

First of all, there are a million things I would do… And most of them are self-serving, egoistical reasons, which cannot easily translate into a money-making, purpose-driven fulfilling career.

Secondly, I have so many different interests… and the ones I really love are so pathetically common that one could not possibly make a living with it…

1. I loooooooove books and reading – Become a writer, editor, publisher, own a bookstore. I have been more and more into writing lately, and sure hope publishing will eventually cross my path. Although I never thought this is what I would end up doing, I should have.  My love of books surpasses most of my passions… I can spend hours and hours in a bookstore/library and even though I love the technology/software field I am in, I sure wish I had done at least a minor in lit/writing.

2. I loooooooove traveling– Become a travel sales agent? A tour guide? A air hostess? yikes! thanks, but no, thanks.  Ok, that’s not entirely true, there are other careers related to this… I just cannot think of any.

3. I loooooooove food (who doesn’t!) – I really love training my taste buds to perceive different cheeses, wines and spices. I love being creative inside the kitchen.  Do I really have a chance  at becoming the next Rachel Ray?? No! Do I want to cook for others?? Not really… Do I want to spend that much time in a kitchen? Nooooo….

I feel as I get older (25! hehe!) my appreciation for good food, books, culture and art just becomes more  and more perfected, regardless of my career. All of these likes or hobbies are appreciated by a variety of cultured people, because they are just plain GOOD. If I had a million dollars, I would spend mostly eating, traveling and reading. That is not a career.

You need a million dollars with a purpose. The question is:

What resourceful outcome would you like to produce with a million dollars? Who (besides your own egoistical self) would be happy with  this outcome?

Considering many people (in the upper class of developed countries, of course) will actually earn close to a million dollars throughout their career path, the real question is:

You will be earning a million dollars in the next 45 years. How would you rather spend 40 hours a week, every week:

Inside… Outside… In the heat… In the cold…

Sitting… Standing…. Moving… Dancing…

Reading… Writing… Reviewing… Talking…

Alone… With one… With Many…

Thinking… Vegetating…

Then another way to narrow possible careers these down might be choosing between 5 different TV channels. Would you rather watch:

Discovery | Discovery Health | Animal Planet | CNN | E! | Lifetime | Food Network

One thing that is always played down in career and aptitude tests it’s the field you will be working in.  That is just as important as figuring out what you would like to be doing.

“Start with an end in mind” it’s one of my favorite sayings. It’s very hard for me to follow through with the things I start, but in my career or anything I do, I feel as this is essential to actually accomplish it. And no matter what stage of your career you are on, goals are indispensable.


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