Pursuit of that which retreats

It was probably my first summer during high school when it hit me; I don’t do well with “jobs”.  Believe me its not the work I deplore, even if I did make donuts or cleaned motel rooms as my introduction to the labor force.  No, it was the mind numbing monotony and meaningless repetitive motion that left me feeling dead…

I recall sitting in my beat up car with no reverse purchased for all of $75 after one of my “shifts”.  Now granted I was only 17 with my life ahead of me, but I still remember that feeling.  Preseason football practice was the only thing that saved me from my misery and I would rather have run wind sprints in full pads that go back to “the job”…

Flash forward to my college years and again, dreadful “jobs” awaited me at every turn.  Try as I may, I just could not overcome my disdain for the incompetent “Peter Principle” bosses, or the time traded for so little money.

So I’m not sure exactly when I began “pursuing” a different path, but it had to be somewhere between sanding wood poster beds or selling shoes at the Footlocker.  School was secondary, as many grads today realize unless your “major” might actually translate into a real “job”.  I really wanted to make a difference, to create something that not only made me feel good, but had an impact on others…

As if someone was sending me signals, the stock market crashed upon finally graduating and landing my first “position” with degree in hand.  Funny how all those years in school never seem to prepare you for the real world.  Or the fact that the “careers” are usually not much better than the hours you traded for dollars back at Dunkin Donuts…

Even when I got lucky and interviewed my way into big time corporate medical sales, with all it’s trappings, I could still hear my dreams a tapping.  I had a mission and it had nothing to do with “pursing” physicians and convincing them to buy my product.  Sure the money was great, and the house on the golf course looked good from the outside.  But on the inside, it was as if I was sitting in the driveway back in high school, head in hand and miserable.

Something pushed me to pursue alternatives, and I sensed that my future success would hinge on “discoveries” that had nothing to do with a “Job”.  Seth Godin says it best in one of his many insightful blog posts;

“Job creation is a false idol. The future is about gigs and assets and art and an ever-shifting series of partnerships and projects. It will change the fabric of our society along the way.” -Seth Godin

 Perhaps I perceived the impending change facing the “fabric of our society” well before I began my “pursuit”.  Or maybe I just don’t like “Jobs”.  Regardless, I would advise any fledgling entrepreneur to “pursue” their dreams and desires with some caution.  You can want something so badly, chase so hard, that it will actually repel from your pursuit.  Think women that sense your intentions or dogs that can smell fear…

Sometimes you just need to laugh at yourself and our ever changing world.  Many of my “pursuits” ended up empty, as the goals I set remained out of reach.  But failure has much to teach, and the lesson is not to repeat “pursuing that which retreats” (The Tao of Steve/Youtube)…