Friday, October 14, 2016

Why Do You Do What You Do? LBC 10/14/2016

This weeks topic comes from Pravin and I am going to take a SWAG (scientific wild-assed guess) that he has read Simon Sinek's  Start With Why or has seen Sinek's Ted Talk - which can be seen on Youtube  here.

Regardless of the inspiration, Pravin as usual has offered something that is interesting and thought provoking. 

Most of us have at one time been told to find something you are passionate about and  make that your life's work. With passion it won't feel like work. In my case from about age 10 on my great passion was baseball. I wanted to pitch and hit really long home runs.  That lasted until I was 17 or so when the physical realities kicked in and it became clear I was not going to be the next  Don Drysdale. I was what we  back then called a thrower - not a pitcher. Pitching is an art I was no artist. 

Reality bites. But heck - I was young and had my whole life in front of me. I entered college hoping to find a new passion that could lead to a successful career and a happy life. Several of my friends did just that - a couple of pilots, a dentist, an architect  and an engineer.

So in 1973 I graduated with  a BA in Political Science (International Relations). I was nominated for a Danforth Fellowship - pretty unusual  for a jock. As you can probably tell, I did not get the fellowship. In 1972 Lynn and I were married so  I was in the position of needing to find a job. As in a "real" job.

My first real job was repossessing mobile homes.  I trust you have  picked yourself up from the floor and did not hurt yourself laughing. No - i did not go physically move them - I handled the insurance paperwork and stuff like that. Trust me when I say there was no passion involved though on two occasions I was offered sexual favors to not "pop the coach" as we called it.

At that point I essentially stopped looking for a passion from which to launch a career and  started looking for something I could be good at and make a living. Sales reared its ugly head.

I was an excellent salesman (based upon my results) but I hated it.
At that point I combined computer support and programing with sales and became a small business consultant which lasted until Silicon Valley tanked in the early nineties. That meant the small businesses I was working with had the chance to hire PHDs from Silicon Valley or me for the same amount of  money. 

And that is how I ended up in Texas. I simply needed a job and RadioShack made an offer thanks to my past performance there previously.

I spent 21 years doing various jobs in scenic Fort Worth, Texas. I essentially worked because I needed a job and then Lynn developed HD and I needed to care for her.

I have always had a passion for music - especially the music of the sixties and seventies. I started visiting websites and music forums and met some great people with the same  passions. I built some web sites and ran a music forum. While running that forum I met a fellow that  had been part of the British Invasion of the sixties. He wrote several multimillion sellers  for a band called the Dave Clark Five. Because Clark reneged on payment he had promised, my friend parted ways and moved on to another band, He continued to write music and perform. He followed his passion and has lived a very happy life.  

So here I am at the end of the line, having essentially lived a relatively normal life like most people. Perhaps a lack of passion prevented me from living an exceptional life.  The chart below is the centerpiece of  Sinek's theory and the key to great leaders.
That's it  for this week's topic. check what my cohorts have to say.

Ramana         Pravin


  1. You are being modest and are exactly in the same experience curve that I have always maintained was mine. That understanding is what prompted my byline "Wisdom Bt Hindsight".

  2. An early example of synchronicity for sure. But the question remains - what if we were passionately attracted to something that might have inspired us. But - perhaps we were - passionate about being happy and so we ultimately were successful.

  3. Meanwhile, you've been successful at raising a family, their families and maintaining great friendships. I suspect that has involved at least a little passion. Remember, life is what happens while you're making other plans.

  4. "passionate about being happy and so we ultimately were successful." I really like that shack. very profound really.
    and wise.
    I always had wondered how you got to texas.