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Old 26-12-2007, 19:18   #1
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Career advice

I'm looking for some thoughtful career advice. Just a bit of background information, I am a 21 year old university student (scheduled to receive a B.A. in Anthropology in roughly 5 months) with only a vague direction on what I'd like to do for work. My ultimate goal is to be a cruiser, but that may be a decade or two away. I'd like to enter some line of work that deals closely with boating, fishing, or shipping. I've done tons of research and talked to U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard recruiters, so I'm exploring the military option, but I'd also like to explore the private sector option. That's (hopefully) where you come in!

You may be wondering why I am asking a bunch of strangers for advice on something as personal as this. Ultimately what line of work I enter is my decision, but the fact is that after spending a great deal of time reading this forum, I've built up some respect for the opinions and knowledge of this forum's members. And the fact that my goal is to basically live the life that many of you are already living makes your advice much more pertinent than any "career counselor" could give me.

Incidentally, I'd probably like to know what type of work you do or have done, if you enjoyed it, and what you would do if you could be 21 again.

So if you have advice or wisdom, please dispense it!

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Old 26-12-2007, 20:05   #2
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Well, as a philosophy major, I never pass on an opportunity to pontificate about matters to which I have only tangential understanding. Let me share my story, and perhaps you can divine some lesson therefrom.

I'm 31. Earned my BA in moral philosophy, and am presently employed as a surprisingly well-paid hospital statistician. During my undergrad years, and in my early forays into grad school, I worked a number of diverse jobs -- including retail clerk, custodian, administrative assistant, and bank teller. I did spend a number of years working for a temp agency, working in a wide range of settings and earning some degree of experience in a variety of industries, including automotive quality. As I wrapped up my BA, I started working for a major West Michigan hospital, at first doing routine secretarial work. I eventually was "discovered" by an influential department director and became her administrative assistant, and later her "reports guy." That latter job evolved into my current job as the senior analyst/statistician/performance-improvement specialist for the hospital's front-end revenue cycle, complete with additional professional certifications, national conferences/presentations, and memberships in national professional associations.

Concurrently with the hospital gig, I worked for my university's student newspaper, starting as an opinion columnist and working my way to editor in chief. This is significant, in that the paper is an ad-funded, non-lab paper with a daily circulation of 12,500 and the student EIC answered only to an independent board of directors.

So, why am I boring you with my life story? Well, right now I'm in the two-year homestretch before I head out to sea for good. I've got the income to acquire and refit a reasonably comfortable blue-water boat, the flexibility to develop the skills I think I need to sustain a cruising life (I'm off to Key Largo in early March to get open-water diving certification, for example), and enough viable options to fund myself indefinitely from the open water. I'm building a portfolio as a writer, presently carving a niche in the healthcare quality domain (I'm a contributor to the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Survey Research Methodology, for example, and am the 2008 publications officer-elect for a section of the American Statistical Association), which will nurture the development of a clips package that will make me an attractive freelancer when the time comes. Heck, I've even managed to stumble across a beautiful local woman who shares my dreams; it's early in our relationship yet, but perhaps ...

If I were 21 again, I wouldn't do much differently. I'd still get a reasonable diversity of experiences under my belt to sustain me, and I'd try to find employment in a field that permits the flexibility to prepare while supporting an income to help fund that dream before Social Security kicks in. Plus -- and let's be honest -- dreams can change, as can life's circumstances. Keeping your options open, even as you work toward a goal, means a setback or change of heart can be accommodated with greater tranquility.

The biggest lesson, for me, is in taking advantage of every opportunity. Nothing in my academic background prepared me for a career as a heathcare analyst -- I fell into it by accident, and after I did, I took every opportunity to develop myself in the role. I respectfully suggest something similar for you -- don't let yourself get sidelined into a single industry or area of expertise, because doing so will inherently limit your range of options, and make it all the more difficult to find a vocation that will simultaneously fund your preparations for cruising, as well as sustain you on your journey.

You can certainly go into the Navy or the Coast Guard. This may (or may not, depending on your assignments!) prepare you for the technical aspects of sailing. But will it maximize your flexibility for what happens post-discharge? Could you leverage your Navy or USCG service into a sustainable cruising career? Could you have the ability to find, purchase, and refit your own boat while still in the service? If not ... what will you do in the interim?

I certainly don't intend to dissuade you from the USN or USCG. I merely wish to suggest that the best course, given your age and experience, might be the one that provides you with more breadth than depth as you begin your working life. If you believe you can get that from the uniformed service, then run with it. If you can't, then consider strategically your next employment move, and avoid being pigeonholed into something that won't offer much return on your time investment by the time you're ready to sail out of your home harbor for the last time.

Sorry to ramble on a bit. Hope this helps.

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Old 26-12-2007, 20:12   #3
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P.S. ... Anthropology, eh? You know, many newspapers hire string writers and photographers. Even if initially as a sideline hobby, you might be able to begin to establish yourself as a writer/photographer about the human condition (i.e., in the vein of National Geographic). With a decent portfolio of freelance work, and a modicum of skill, you could work your way into some reasonable assignments that could support a comfortable cruising lifestyle. Harder to get into nowadays, but you're young yet, and have a lot of opportunity to lay a firm foundation before you may need to rely on it ... plus, an anthropology degree could be a benefit to certain trade lines. Worth some investigation, perhaps.
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Old 26-12-2007, 20:31   #4
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With a college degree and at your age you could become a naval officer. Retire in 20 years and your pension will take care of you for the rest of your life. You might consider flight school. The Navy wont give you much small boating experience but that is relatively easy to obtain after you retire.

Life begins where land ends.
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Old 26-12-2007, 21:12   #5
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I am in kind of the same boat. I am 23 and I just graduated with a supply chain management degree a couple weeks ago. Like you I want eventually be a cruiser. I even have sort of a long term goal of of circumnavigating before I am 35 . I grew up in Houston, TX and my fmaily had a sailboat there, so no I am planning on moving there and try to find a job and saveup so Icanbuy a boat and begin sailing again on some salt water, then after awhile hopefully I would of saved up enough so I can have my adventre.

I hope my rambling plan helped, but thats all it is, a plan. Who knows what will happen.
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Old 26-12-2007, 21:16   #6
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When I was in college, my favorite movie was "Little Big Man" portrayed by Dustin Hoffman. In the movie, the hero went through a series of lives as an Indian, a gunslinger, a drunk, an army scout. I found the movie interesting because the hero had four or five distinct lives, each of which was unique.

Now that I have been alive for nearly six decades, I think that the "Little Big Man" model for making a life works good for a lot of people. Rather than think about work/vocation/career in a unidimensional manner, it is better to think multidimensional. For example, I had a navy life, a life in the parallel universe working in Saudi Arabia as an eye surgeon. a life as an explorer in expeditionary vehicles (Land Rover Defenders), a life as a sailor during a circumnavigation, a life as a photographer, a life as a writer, a life as a web site designer, a life as a flying doctor.

All of these lives are equally valid and rewarding. If you choose a unidimensional existence that compresses you into a single mold, you will end up stressed out and hating your life when you get tired of doing the same thing day after day. When you choose a multidimensional existence, you actually have the opportunity to live five or six different lives in the span of time that you are given.

I've use to say that I wish I had five different lives that I could live in five different ways. Then I realized that I don't need five lives. One life is quite enough to live in five different ways.
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Old 26-12-2007, 22:30   #7
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Originally Posted by liberty16 View Post
a B.A. in Anthropology
Thats the study of wee little insects isn't it? Or the beer drinking habits of outer-Mongolian males 25 - 37??????

Either way you have some great scientific knowledge that could get you a great job on a charter boat... no, no, not a Beneteau 36 in the Caribbean, one of those whopping 150 foot boats that crew out of Palma De Mallorca.

Bone idle rich clowns charter these huge boats for up to 1/4 of a million dollars per week and they love bright young people to work as crew either starting as a deckhand and moving up into navigation as you get your tickets.
A deckhand does all the miserable jobs on the boat but also someone with a bit of real knowledge like you would get to be tour guide to the fat dumb millionaires when they are looking at piles of hot rocks in the sun. They ask you: " are these just a pile of hot rocks in the sun?" You of course scream: "No! Not hot rocks in the sun but a building from antiquity where outer Mongolian men brewed beer." etc etc.

Pay on some of these boats is huge and the life hard but great experience.

I reckon working for 5 years on them and you could save enough to buy a yacht and take off yourself!

Look at crew register sites and don't be put off by experience necessary, they all take newbies!

Palma de Mallorca is the centre of it all for the whole world (not ft lauderdale). Take a one way plane ticket and give it a go

Get info from sites like this: Superyacht Crew Placement Services for super yachts
But remember, you dont have to fork out dollars for a course! First aid ticket would be good and you should be able to do that on campus now!

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Old 27-12-2007, 04:53   #8
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While aspiring to be a bum that travels by boat from place to place and never works is a very worthy goal (a show of hands from the audience please!). The road to getting there is not usually quite so direct. Being a cruiser requires parts you have not yet mastered. You need to seize control of your own destiny!

You won't learn that being a paid slave on other peoples boats. Their goal is to pay you as little as possible. They clearly know how to reach their goals better than you do yours. Don't ever play in a rigged game. You'll learn to do as your told and smile. The latter is perhaps most useful thing in life the former is just a decent upbringing. Being a cruiser is clearly not about doing what you are told but does include all the smiling you can put out. If you have that idea down now you can skip being a slave and move on to becoming a whole person - you've earned that much. Your goal is to own the boat not to clean it. Ascribing to be more than you are now is the idea. That never ends if you live right.

Graduation from college proved to the world you have a capacity to understand complex information, solve complex problems and can stick to something long enough to completion. It seems reasonable you should continue to do so. Find anything you love to do and there are ways to sail no matter how broke you are. You already proved you can figure things out! Save your money. Delay death as long as possible.

Basic rule of boating: Don't hit anything! When I was 22 years old we added a second rule: No falling! I came to sailing after cycling and mountaineering. We never added any more rules and 30 years later they still work. The rest are just preferences you make up as you go along. All outdoor activities are valuable sailing training as is everything you know and ever will know.
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Old 27-12-2007, 08:53   #9
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Originally Posted by liberty16 View Post
I'm looking for some thoughtful career advice.


You may be wondering why I am asking a bunch of strangers for advice on something as personal as this.


Incidentally, I'd probably like to know what type of work you do or have done, if you enjoyed it, and what you would do if you could be 21 again.

So if you have advice or wisdom, please dispense it!
Oh, to be 21 again . . . then again, when I was 21, I had a B.A. in English Literature, was the youngest child in a lower middle-class family of four boys and the first to graduate from college, yet (as I grew to learn) knew almost nothing!

In asking for advice, liberty, you're already miles ahead of where I was at that age. And, in reading through this thread, it seems to me that if you really meditate on what Dave (maxingout) has written, take it to heart, create a "lifeplan" based on Dave's advice and implement that plan, you can have a rewarding, contented existence . . . a real chance to know happiness.

That is my experience in looking back from almost sixty years on this planet, but . . . had I received the benefit of Dave's wisdom at 21, well, who knows?

When I graduated from college, I sold everything I owned (which was only an Austin Mini Cooper, and what I could carry in it ), filled a proper mountaineering backpack with what I thought I needed, hitch-hiked from Colorado to the Canadian Maritimes and took a ferry from PEI to Newfoundland, finally arriving at Gander International Airport. Being the closest North American airport to Europe, I thought the fare to Europe would be the least if I flew from there.

As it turned out, Air Canada was my only option, and the fare would have been less had I flown out of New York, so I'd already learned something!

I spent several months trekking around Europe, truly the happiest time of my life, staying in youth hostels and meeting many Europeans and, sadly, a few other Americans. From that, I learned that Americans can get an "education," have virtually no experience nor appreciation of other cultures, yet hold astonishingly superior attitudes and beliefs about themselves that have little or no basis in fact. It was eye-opening.

When I returned to Colorado, I hitch-hiked (again) to Southern California, with the intention of working in the entertainment business. I had the whopping sum of $90 hidden in one of my boots, and my half of the first month's rent already paid on an apartment in Pasadena, where a friend from college was already living. My first post-college job was night caretaker at an animal hospital in Pasadena.

My friend, too, had the dream of working in The Biz, but neither one of us knew anyone who actually did so. I've related the story of how we finally "got in" previously on CF, so I won't replay that saga. I worked in many different aspects of entertainment over the years, eventually marrying the granddaughter of a legendary show business family. That was the happiest period of my life.

But I grew tired of entertainment - it's a young man's game - and eventually left it. I had saved and invested well in my peak earning years, and despite a surprisingly amicable divorce, money was not an issue as I looked toward the final chapters of my life's story.

I had always had an interest in economics, and a certain knack for investing, so that became the focus. For the past ten years, or so, investment management has kept me active and engaged. This has been the happiest time of my life.

So please take to heart Dave's priceless advice, liberty. Live many lives this lifetime. Reject conformity, keep an open mind and accept that your real education is only beginning. This moment is the happiest time of your life.

Don't worry . . . Be happy!

"Your vision becomes clear only when you look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks within, awakens."
Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961)
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Old 27-12-2007, 09:11   #10
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Earn money and don't spend it. I got a major in English and a minor in Econ. Since I knew how to read I read books on investing. I saved any money that I earned and then when I found a good investment (at the time it was Real Estate) I started buying. Worked out well.

Whatever you do find something that you like to do. (I chose carpentry)

write down your plan on paper (I wrote down 6 goals I've accomplished 4)

Save more money then you spend. (This was hard I did it by accident. Built houses then didhn't sell them but traded them for more real estate(avoid taxes))

learn about investing.(read and ask questions)

keep your eyes out for opportunities (sp) (Mine was when rents were higher than mortgage payments. Good time to buy)

ask older people how they got ahead. (I wish I had done this more)

when you find a profitable venture pour your soul into to it. (Iworked w/o regard to pay knowing that the profit was on the end)

Don't be greedy (bulls get rich bears get rich pigs go to slaughter)

keep on saving more than you spend. (It gets harder to do as you get older and get married and have kids)

following these rules you should end up with enough to cruise comfortably for years by the time you are forty.

"I'm an English major -- you do the math"
Fair Winds,


Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 27-12-2007, 11:10   #11
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Liberty, you took me back a few years. There are plenty of places in the US where you can live on the water and make a good living on the water. You might consider S Florida, Galveston Bay, the California coast or other such areas where this is feasible year round. One fairly well paying job in Texas and Lousiana is running crew boats back and forth to offshore oil platforms. If you wanted to be a merchant marine, there are plenty of schools for that in your area or elsewhere if you want to re-locate.

If you are through with school, you might want to live on a boat and get whatever job you can. Spend all of your spare time hanging around with boat people and learning what you can about the boats. If you are reasonably intelligent and dependable, there are plenty of folks who will pay good money to take care of their boat. Good luck to you.
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Old 27-12-2007, 11:45   #12
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Originally Posted by liberty16 View Post
what you would do if you could be 21 again.

So if you have advice or wisdom, please dispense it!
What would I do if 21 again??? Honestly?.....Probably care far less about work (back then I thought I wanted a "career" ) and I would drink more beer (somehow??!!) and take a few more "recreationals". Oh yeah, and develop an addiction to "bad women" earlier - fook it, yer only young once, and sooner or later life does make you "grow up" / "sh#ts all over you" whether you want it or not..........did I mention motorbikes? big 'uns and travelling around Europe at Warp factor 9

You asked

What should I do if 21 again........get a skill (and the paper work to go with it) that you could later use to be your own boss and could also form the basis of another career and is transferable between industries as well as at home or's about keeping yer options always open.......whether this be a "brain" based skill like a Doctor or Accountant or a "hands on" skill like a carpenter or mechanic....ideally in something you enjoy........or at least do not hate.....
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Old 27-12-2007, 11:45   #13
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The consensus seems to be to earn some money and go later where you are old - or nearly dead - "Save your money. Delay death as long as possible."

If there are 10K boats to be had - and we're told there are - then work at McDonals or whatever till you have $10k and then go! Europe is the eye opener. Cruise the Med.
Read what TaoJones said in his post.
A young man with a bright, educated brain, loose on the world would be a marvelous thing. Its what humanity needs more than anything. Where you will land and what you will do is totally unknown, but it can only happen to you with your youth and vitality.

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Old 27-12-2007, 12:01   #14
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Remarkable Stories.

All of the foregoing is to my mind excellent advice, so let me make my contribution in a different way- starting by observing things often said by others. One paraphrased quote that always comes to mind is "no one rises higher than he who knows not where he is going". Accordingly, I would not be too concerned about not having all of life's answers down at 21, or even at 40 The only constant in life that you can really bet on, is that things will change and it is one's capacity and willingness to adapt to those changes that ultimately defines success, and not just for humans. A lot can be learned from nature, for in the end, she controls all. Don't believe me? I give you.......

"Seer's Law of the 20 mph Curve" which goes as follows:

"I don't care how much money you have, who your father was, what movie star you date, what kind of car you drive, or how much your rolex cost you, or which government or how many revered wise men voted on what to put on that speed limit sign, if you try and take one of 'natures' 20 mph curves at are headed out of the genepool, period, end of story."

Life is all about identifying and respecting nature's 20 mph curves. There are a lot of them, and some closely hidden. Detecting them in advance is "job 1" for if you can't do that, you'll never get the chance to do anything else.

So, assuming you get that down, as to what you should do with your life, let me put it this way, unless you live a rather remarkable and public life, when its over, only those you knew well, your immediate family, and perhaps your grandchildren will even remember, much less give a damn about what you said and did. People tend to see themselves as far more important in the overall scheme of things than they really are, even the 'important' ones Accordingly, since barring reincarnation, you're going to get one shot at this game and it makes little sense to live your life patterned on anyone else's design, whether a parent, preacher, priest, minister, rabbi, (you get the drift) or anyone else, you might as well live your life (within reason) trying to please the one to whom it is most important, i.e. YOU!!!,,,so to know your own heart, your own mind, your own soul. They will reveal the path YOU will find most satisfying and rewarding, for I will submit to you that in the end, life is about trying to find a way to be happy

Deciding how to proceed to do this can be a daunting task. Let me put it this way. If I were to give you a hammer, and you had never seen a hammer before, how would you go about trying to discover its purpose? By 'using' it of course. You would find it excellent for bashing the hell out of things, but very poor at say combing your hair, or playing 'catch' etc. Well, lets rephrase the question, if I was to give you...well YOU How would you go about finding out what YOU are 'for'? As several posters have already stated..go out and look around, try different things...USE your life, try things out, see what pleases you, what doesn't etc., eventually you will fall into into the right slot, or create a new one The answers are easy if you find you only do one thing well and it pleases you. If so, have at it and consider yourself blessed. The problem comes when you discover a number a things you do well, now you're going to have to make choices, and things can get a bit dicey here.

The first matter people in our consumption based western society confront is that of wealth. While clearly helpful, I would advise an intelligent man to not be overly concerned about financial wealth and power. As my grandfather once remarked, "there were damned few black sharecroppers diving out of skyscraper windows during the depression...." On the other hand, some degree of financial stability is a great dream enabler soooooo, keep things in perspective as you conduct your search for what you are 'for'.

Now, this next part is the point where a lot of sage's advise 'moderation in all things'. Well I think that is horseshit. It has been my experience that you can never be happier..than you have been sad. If you reach for the heights, be prepared for the depths, for I have never seen one achieved where the other did not surely follow. It is an easy and 'safe' thing to live a 'moderate' life and it appears to be the path most traveled...probably because it takes a substantial amount of courage to risk all to pursue a dream to its end, knowing the obstacles, trials and tribulations that must be overcome along the way. But, consider the rewards

A professor at Caregie Mellon who is dying of cancer, recently gave a rather remarkable lecture in which he said many things worth hearing among which was this one which resonated most with me." Walls (i.e. obstacles to your dreams) are there to weed out those who simply don't 'want it' enough". I have seen this to be true. If you really want it, GO FOR IT! If you don't, keep searching

I am reminded of the old Sophists' tale of the retiring master leaving his academy after a lifetime of service to seek peace and solitude in his remaining years. As he is gathering his things, his most trusted subordinate comes to him and tells him that there has arrived a very special young student, one showing remarkable potential, but needing extreme care in the manner of his training, training which only the master is qualified to give. Well, the old man begs off but after a time of continued entreaties, he commits to at least an interview with the young 'prodigy' and so goes down to get a look at this student which has caused such a commotion. In appearance the lad is not remarkable, but detecting a spark behind the eyes, the old man beckons him to join him on a stroll down the path alongside the stream near the school. They converse in meaningless chit-chat for a bit then the master suddenly stops and extending his arm, points at a large boulder out in the middle of the stream.
"Where should that rock be? " he asks the young man.

Well, the pupil looks at the old master in bewilderment for a moment then turns to contemplate the rock. When he turns back, the master detects the gleam in the young man's eye and begins to smile. The student proclaims:
"That rock is exactly where it should be" ,

Well the old man,without missing a beat, rockets back.

"and why, pray tell, is that? "

To which the younger man, never loosing his gaze into the master's eyes, states calmly.
."Because in all of existence, from the great cataclysm's of antiquity, every storm, every flood, every quake that ever shook this land, ALL the forces of nature have combined to put that rock where it is,,,,
therefore it IS,
where it SHOULD,

Now, I tell you that story as a backdrop to what I think is the most difficult problem faced by intelligent persons during their life's search; and that is trying to keep an even keel psychologically as one discovers the various 'truths' that reveal themselves as you progress along your way. This internal struggle can present a most deadly dilemma; "deadly" in that many of the best and the brightest ultimately fail miserably when seeking to face the truths about this world, about our species, and ultimately about themselves-and believe me, there are things that are true whether you choose to believe them or not. Those who fail this one of life's tests, find themselves falling into depression, drug/alcohol abuse, and all too often, suicide. Ask yourself why so many of those now deceased notables who appeared to have had *everything*, ultimately decided they had *nothing* of real value....

Ghandi used to say that to contest life's greatest battles, one must 'turn your eyes inward' and I believe him to have been correct. Conquer yourself and the rest of the world is easy...but I warn you, going 'inside' without being well 'armed' so to speak can be, as I just discussed, a very dangerous and unforgiving place indeed. To be prepared you must see the world as it is, as it 'should' be in the meaning of the Sophists.. As the story illustrates, there iare reasons why we are the way we are, and why we find ourselves in the state we are in, i.e. why our 'rock' sits in the middle of that stream.... The history of our world and of our species has made our world what it is. To succeed in it, you must understand how it got to be the way it is, and how our different peoples got to be the way they are. There are reasons that the Turks are attacking the Khurds, and vice-versa; there are reasons why Ms. Bhutto died this morning; and there are reasons the United Nations is screaming about 'human caused' global warming while increasing numbers of climatology experts are tending towards the opposite view... There are also reasons why warring nations can call a temporary truce to attempt a joint rescue operation; or even stop the killing for a bit to engage in games of sport- we call it the Olympics. You can undertake the search for as many of the reasons for our condition as you wish, and in as many fields, but just beware, the answers do not come cheap, they all carry a price; and in many cases, a price not all are able to bear. To fight the battle inside is a lofty ambition, just be forewarned, you may learn things you would rather not have known.

So, how to live ones life Well, most of the answer lies in seeking to find what it is that makes you "happy" and pursuing that. Only among the rarest of men will you find those willing to subjugate their own happiness, wealth, health and sometimes lives, for the welfare of others, and I will tell you they live by different rules than the rest. I would not advise following that path, unless you find that the essence of all that is YOU, demands it.

So take YOU out into the world, try it on, see what you can and cannot do, , be careful, thoughtful, find what makes YOU happy and pursue that and you will be a long way ahead of most. When confronted with a career issue, when presented with alternative courses of action, ask yourself: "which path leads me towards my goal, and which leads away from it..." then choose. CAVEAT! You may find, its not always an entirely direct path

BUT..... one little problem remains.....

That of dealing with moral dilemmas. Once it occurs to you that your initial 'faith' is a function of where and when you are born and to whom, it becomes difficult for an intelligent man to follow strictly one creed or another at the behest of who, whom, or whatever passes for the local religious authority. As you can read in the headlines on any given day, most people never reach this understanding, and therefore cannot bring themselves to allow that other equally intelligent persons might see things in a different way, and therefore might not require conversion or extermination-which is unfortunate.

Nonetheless, humans have evolved with a desire or need (use whichever term you deem appropriate) to believe in something larger than themselves, and yes, some have found this need useful in seeking to control the thoughts and actions of large populations, ergo the situation I described in the previous paragraph. That is one "rock" we should do our damnedest to get the hell out of the stream.....

In any event, it has occurred to me that at the core of most major religions there are similar teachings that are helpful in facilitating people getting along with one another. These can be readily adopted. However, the strict and innumerable do's and don'ts which have over the years been added- supposedly derived from these core basics through the interpretations of 'learned and or 'inspired' men', conflict between the major theologies and have resulted in the infliction of mind-boggling pain, suffering and cruelty beyond belief. An intelligent man might be justifiably repulsed by what such faiths have done in the name of a good and just god. Accordingly, where do you turn to resolve moral issues if not to faith? Well, as my parting offering, here is a way to accomplish exactly that Since one of my names is Morgan, it is referred to by people who know me as 'Morganism" ( or by the more irreverent few as "Morgasm" which connotes something entirely different ..tho still on occasion posing a moral issue lol). In any event, it goes like this:

"When confronted with a moral issue, close your eyes, calm your breathing, focus your thoughts and picture yourself near the end of your life, reflecting over the course of your life, and those 'choices' you made...then ask yourself this question: "am I going to be glad I did this, or wish I hadn't".

You will be amazed at how seemingly Gordian choices are thus rendered elegantly clear.

Perhaps its possible that at the core of each of us there really is some 'spark' some sliver, some inherent trace of what for lack of a better word, I'll call 'providence', such that if you can just remove the distractions and influences of others, and just can serve as one's moral compass. However, I have found that this internal compass CAN stil be debased and corrupted. In years passed I used to refer to the supposed *universal truth* that mothers in all cultures always mourned the deaths of their sons, something regrettably, I now know to not be true. Sigh, one of those *truths* I'd rather not have learned.

In any event, there you have it, a pocket manual for living your life.


To be fair, I must point out that Shakespeare said much the same thing, but phrased it this way..

"To thine own self be true".

Clear evidence of the genius of brevity... which I evidently sadly lack.

Seeratlas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-12-2007, 12:17   #15
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 257
Congrats on finishing your degree. Where in CT are you? I took the path of Navy-business school-career, so I can offer you a little info from that perspective. Feel free to contact me offline, You've already gotten some pretty fair advice. Let me focus on just a couple of things:
1. You don't have to reinvent the wheel. Lots of people have been there/done that, so learn about what makes people successful. Ask their advice, and be genuine. This is flattering for most guys, no matter how successful they are. Get a role model or at least a mentor. Be an unrelenting networker. Your network will be your source for information and opportunities as you get older.
2. Develop one skill you can bank on. Preferably something that someone will pay you to do. It may take several years to get this skill, but it will be yours and can be the basis for a career or a fall-back in uncertain times.
3. Often the happiest/most successful people got into what they are doing by accident. Don't think you have to plan your next 1,3,5, ten years to be successful. Just keep your head "in the game" so you can pounce on opportunities when they arise. If you feel rudderless, focus on which opportunities will close the fewest doors for you.

Finally, you get something of a free pass until you hit your late 20's. Have fun. Go cruising sooner rather than later (loneliness may deter you). You can always jump right back in with the 'fast track' guys by going to grad school.


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