When I was 16 and taking a gap year because I was sick of the banality of academia, and nowhere near ready mentally to take on a degree course, I took whatever job I could find.
That job was driving forklifts, lugging bags of concrete and cutting timber to size for builders. Everyone at my work hated their job. It was a place that “dreams go to die”, as I was advised by a colleague when I first started working there. I was apparently making a huge mistake.
10 years on, I have a degree, a professional career, and am developing this blog, which could potentially become a whole new career.
So, how did I move from being a 16-year-old drop-out working minimum wage to graduating and living a comfortable life? What’s the magic formula?
Time x small changes x intent = Major positive change.
Did you know that your body contains 37.2 trillion cells? More amazing than just the number is the coordination of them all – they are all part of a blueprint that is written in your DNA to build the micro-city that is your body.
So how did the human body become such a complex entity? How did a single-celled organism eventually become humankind? Simple – small change over a long period of time, and it is the same underlying force that changes your life.
Life is full of synchronicity – phenomena that are observed in nature are also reflected in ourselves. Nature gives us night and day, we have cycles of sleeping and being awake. Seasons are hot and cold, and we have personal seasons of red-hot activity and other times of cooler introspection. There is a distinct connection between the laws of nature and how we function, which makes sense since we are technically indistinguishable from nature.
I started by looking at what I was good at (academia) and combining it with what I enjoyed (technology). After 18 months in my manual labour job, I decided to enroll for a degree in technology.
I got in, got my degree, worked an entry-level help desk job, and eventually moved into my first real job.
In that job, I made small changes to the way that I did things as I learned, and began collecting awards as a junior in my field.
I then moved to a better company with a better title and a bigger paycheck.
Then, early last year, I realized that I wasn’t passionate about technology anymore. That’s okay – we didn’t play the same game for our whole childhood, and we don’t have to do that as adults either. My new passion was philosophy and helping people, but I was still good at academia and writing.
That’s when I decided to start TruthInjected. I realized that I could write articles about philosophy to help people.
In a parallel universe, I still see myself working at my original job out of school. What would the defining difference be between that version of me, and the me that exists now?
Having the courage to take action and make things change.
BUT! You can’t expect to be working minimum wage one day and driving a Bugatti the next. Unless you win the lottery.
You have to take small steps towards a goal. This is something that I struggled with when I resigned and began studying. I actually had more money when I was working in my dead-end job! Why was I doing this?
Just keep making progress towards your goal and you will eventually reach it. Don’t lose sight of the long-term objective.
I still struggle with this idea – there are days that I log into my blog, and see that I have only had a few views since I last logged in. Why aren’t I featured as a prolific author yet?
It takes time.
But if I keep going, keep writing useful content, and improve as a writer by just a little bit from article to article, I will eventually make good progress.
If you are familiar with the principle of compound interest, you will understand that an improvement of just 1% or 2 % on the original capital can snowball into major improvement over time, and it will grow exponentially as you progress.
“Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe… [It is] the greatest mathematical discovery of all time.” – Albert Einstein
Yes, personal evolution has parallels in economics as well as the universe.
But we are always evolving. The universe is always changing. If we don’t apply out intent to moving forward, we will end up moving backward.
The force of compounding change works both ways.
“Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.” – Albert Einstein
And remember, there are no mistakes en-route, just opportunities to grow. I am glad that I worked that “awful” first job, as it taught me a lot of useful habits that I still use to this day. Without that job, without seeing where I could potentially be if I do not apply myself to improvement, I would not have had the motivation to improve myself.
So invest in your future, make small deposits regularly, show interest, and your potential will compound before your eyes.