Ever since I was little girl, I was driven by money.
I think back to the days when my dad would give me 5 cents for every piece of litter I picked up on the side of the road. Being the greedy little girl I was, I would spend all of my summer day collecting trash on our country roads. I loved it. I loved that the harder I worked, the more money I made. It seemed so simple at the time.
That wasn’t the only incident I can recall where I was driven by money. I think back to when the neighbor girl and I used to hold lemonade stands at the edge of our driveway. Bright-eyed and full of hope, I would mix the lemonade powder with water and think about getting rich off of our little stand. Because we lived out in the country, the outcome was always poor and our parents would buy out all of the lemonade out of pity for us.
My obsession with making a lot of money panned out similarly as I grew older. By the time I went off to college, I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. In one of my first blog posts I ever wrote, What College ACTUALLY Taught Me, I touched on how one of the most important lessons I ever learned in college was that money shouldn’t be the sole focus when choosing a career.
Today, I want to dive a little deeper and share my story with you. I want to inspire you to do what you love and find your passion in life. Because in the end, that is all that matters.
A Lesson Learned the Hard Way
To briefly touch on what I had previously written in that post, I was always so driven throughout high school and college by making a high income. I wasn’t exactly sure what career path I wanted to pursue at the time, but I knew that I wanted to do something that I could make good money in. At my university, I switched my major 6 or 7 times. As a high school senior and an incoming freshman, I considered physical therapy and nursing until I quickly realized that my science classes were torture for me and something I had no interest in. My junior and senior year of college was spent in the business major. I dabbled in business management and marketing classes, and tried to convince myself that this was what I really wanted to do. (Even though I could barely stay awake in my classes and I was almost failing because it just didn’t click).
While doing business, I was both a double psychology and communication studies minor. These were the only classes that I loved going to. Psychology fascinated me and I was naturally skilled at communicating with others. In the past, I had taken career inventories and was given the results that I would be skilled at human services-type work, but ignored the results because I didn’t think that there was any money in that. I kept telling myself that my personal strengths of being a natural born leader and a skilled communicator would be excellent in the business setting, but I ignored my other skill sets that mostly encompassed who I was: patient, compassionate, and great with kids.
The “Aha” Moment
What was my “aha” moment when I finally realized I was making a big mistake with my career choice? I remember it vividly. I was in the library with my best friend studying. We both had a final exam in an hour; my exam was in economics. I despised this class with every ounce of my being and knew that even though I had studied hours upon end, I was doomed. It just didn’t click. I was complaining about the class to her when she ever-so-bluntly said to me, “You know what, Chels? You’re not meant to be in business. You suck at it. You’re meant to be a counselor.”
At first, I was ticked. UM It’s a little too late for that, Abigail! I thought. I had only spent the past 3 semesters taking stupid business classes that had only lowered my GPA. I cringed thinking about all of the time I had potentially wasted, not to mention, the blood, sweat and tears that I had put into my school work. All for nothing!! But I knew in my heart that she was right. I hated everything about the business program. My heart was in human services. I knew that I had to change my major and put away my silly pride. I had finally realized that money can only get you so far in life, and it’s not worth it for a career you that you don’t enjoy.
That day was a game-changer. I went into my economics class not really caring if I failed the exam. I knew that big changes were about to come in my life, and I was excited for the future.
A Changed Perspective
That was over 3 years ago. Since then I have graduated with a degree in psychology and was accepted into a Master’s program for Professional Counseling with a school emphasis. I am so glad that I had such an honest friend who knew me better than I even knew myself at the time. I couldn’t be happier with my life choices; this career is truly what I was put in this world to do.
God was pulling me in a direction completely away from what path I was desperately trying to stay on. Looking back now, there were so many signs that business wasn’t the choice for me. Crying in the bathroom because I had failed another accounting exam. The feeling of dread going to every single class business class day in and day out. Loving my child psychology class and being generally interested in the material.
I was convinced that to be successful, I needed to change who I was. Not true. I learned that everybody has something unique to contribute to the world; you just need to find what you are skilled at and share your gift with others.
Passion Exceeds Salary
Friends, it’s SO important to do what you love. Please, please, PLEASE do not be completely driven in your life by money. If you are in college or even an adult thinking of going back to school, please choose a career path that you know you will enjoy. I promise you that if you are truly passionate about it and love what you do, the money will come. You will be recognized for your efforts and hard work.
I’ll leave you off with one of my favorite quotes. “When you do what you love, everything else falls into place.” This sign is hanging in my home office. It inspires me to do what I love every single day, and to create purpose to my life.
Do you enjoy your job? Would you ever quit your job to pursue something else you love? Leave me a comment below.
Can’t get enough of my self-improvement posts? Check out these!
Do You Wish Your Life Away?
5 Reasons Why You Failed