“Earn an honest living”, can mean a few things. It means getting a legitimate job or run a legitimate business, working your required hours to earn your wages, and upholding your integrity at work at all times.
But what about working extra hours without expecting any extra benefits? Where does that fall into?
I’m not 100% engineer material, neither am I a brilliant researcher who enjoys publishing patents after patents. I was never first-class material during my school days, and I constantly have a burning desire to do what I want to do.
Those who know me, will know that “work” is my middle name. Back in uni, I was an engineering student by day, self-taught graphics/web designer by night (and weekends). While it was hectic, it was fun. Apart from scoring my exams, I had no real commitments to worry about. To me, life painted a bigger picture and I wanted to be a part of it.
Then I graduated. And I had to grow up some more. Growing pains were there, as usual, and this time I had to take things more seriously. I now have a real, demanding day job and I had to make important life decisions as to where I’m heading.
I once emailed a uni senior, a renegade engineer who is now a very successful person who has turned his dreams into reality. I do believe that you have to chase for what you want, but I also believe that different people do it differently. His email was inspiring, but it didn’t encourage me to change my life 180 degrees. My definition of success is making the best out of the 24 hours I am given everyday, and being able to go to sleep at night with the decisions I make.
Maybe I’m more timid as compared to this senior of mine, but in life, you can’t make everything a competition. Ayn Rand, a Russian-American novelist once said, “a creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” The only competition I have is with myself. Just because I claim that I’m not 100% engineer material doesn’t mean I cannot be a good one. I may not be as smart, and I may have to clock in more hours and effort as compared to those who can churn formulae and scientific terms like it’s their first language, but I believe that as long as I take a step forward and ask for directions, I’ll get there eventually. And just recently, I’ve regained the balance between my day job and my passion once again.
I know I’m not the only one walking this road, and I congratulate those who have managed to achieve what they want, be it early or later in life. But to those who are still on this journey, I urge you to keep walking. Because this road, long as it may be, will write many stories, and is just as life-changing (if not more) as the destination for yourself and the people around you.
“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”
Have a fantastic Friday, everyone.