Tag Archives: vocation

Is the grass greener on the other side?

I have come to wonder if I am like the proverbial cow that wants to break through the fence and try the grass on the other side of the fence. Is the grass actually greener and tastier or is it all in my mind? Maybe I have the mind like a member of the bovine family. For the past 12 or 13 years, it seems that after about 4 years, I’m ready to move to a new location and I’m not just talking about the next town. It seems that I become disenchanted with the town, the people, the climate, or any number of things. I love to discover new people and places. It takes a while to get the feel of a place. You can’t really do that on a 2-week vacation. Fortunately, I own a business where I can pretty much work anywhere so this makes it pretty easy to do.

Cow trying to eat grass on other side of fence
Photo credit James Rickwood

This time, it’s a vocational edit

I am trying to break out of my vocation or at least add to what I am already doing. You see, when I was young, I had two dreams; to develop a new form of propulsion for space travel and own my own theme park. These may seem like two entirely different pursuits, but each has similar characteristics.
-Research
-Creativity
-Risk-taking
-Innovation
Both of these pursuits require a good amount of imagination, yet neither is for the faint of heart. One requires a significant amount of brainpower including physics, engineering, and math. The other requires lots of money. Actually both require money but opening a theme park, that requires a LOT of money.

Routine is good, just not for me

Are you the type of person that loves to create, yet wants to leave the daily running of things to someone else? That’s me. I love brainstorming, troubleshooting, and coming up with “What if” type of thoughts.
I’ve done a lot of different things in my life. I have been blessed to have many different talents and have put pretty much all of them to use at one time or another. For many, having to come up with new ideas each day gives them a headache. They are very happy to know what is expected of them each day and they do it well. At the end of the day, they feel fulfilled.

Don’t get me wrong, I have routines. For example, I go to the gym regularly, have my morning coffee, pray, meditate, and enjoy a nice beverage in the evening. I also routinely sit down and write down ideas each morning.

I love big projects and I cannot lie

I’ve always been one for big projects. When I was a kid, I built model rockets. You know the ones where you put an engine in them and launch them into the sky. I quickly built many of the store-bought ones but they just weren’t big enough and didn’t go high enough. One day, I had that “what if” moment and said to myself, “If one engine is good, 3 is better.” I then constructed a rocket that was 3 times as high as the store-bought ones, installed 3 rocket engines that would fire simultaneously, and launched it successfully. Getting that out of the way, I went and got two 12′ carpet tubes to build a 24′ rocket. This time, model rocket engines were not powerful enough so I decided to make my own rocket fuel. Let’s just put it this way, it didn’t end well.

The grass isn’t greener, it’s just different

If there is a zany idea out there, I will come up with it. I just need to find other zany minded individuals like me. I’m not sure where one would find these types of individuals. We should start some sort of club. There must be other “cows” out there like me that are stretching their necks trying to find that perfect clump of green grass. In the meantime, I will come up with more ideas and try and figure out how to implement them. So, if you see me leaning out the car window like a dog licking the air, it’s just me looking for that greener clump of grass.

Dog with head out window
Photo credit Shutterstock

Have you lost the art of daydreaming?

A child is daydreaming in a classroom.I read somewhere that if you were in the midst of trying to discover where you wanted to go in life, then you should look retrospectively on your imagined life. Sounds kind of strange doesn’t it? So many times, when we try and think of what we want to become or do in life, we subconsciously place all kinds of limitations on it. We don’t realize many times that we are doing this. We somehow use the successes and the failures of our past to place mental leashes on our dreams. Since we live in the real world, that play world that we lived in as kids slowly disappears as life slaps us in the face. Bit by bit, we stop dreaming during the day; sure we dream at night, but daydreaming¬† just stops. My teachers used to write to my parents on my report card that I daydreamed too much in class.

I will admit that I did daydream in class. I had so many things that I wanted to become and had quite a vivid imagination. Imagination is very underrated. It is necessary for the advancement of almost any discipline or task we put our hands to. If it wasn’t for imagination, the wheel would never had been invented, much less self driving cars.

After thinking of the challenge put before me, I knew that it was going to take some effort since I hadn’t done this in quite awhile. Most of my daydreaming of late had taken on a very pragmatic nature. Dreaming like I did when I was a kid was going to be a task.

Ground rules for daydreaming

First off, there are some rules you have to keep in mind or rather non-rules. Keep these in mind as you start daydreaming.

  • If money were not an object
  • If there were no time constraints
  • Throw every pragmatic or logical assumption out the window
  • Let your dream have absolutely no boundaries
  • Nothing is silly or stupid
  • Don’t judge your dream even before you get started
  • To hell with thoughts like “it’ll never happen so why dream it”
  • Don’t be afraid to even include friends and associates that you have enjoyed working with in the past in your dream
  • Once you have come up with your dream, write it down amping it up even more

To get you started, I am going to share my wild, no holds barred dream. As I said, this is a retrospective dream, looking back on my imaginary life. Here we go, don’t judge me!

My daydream – an example

“I can’t believe where I am today. At one time, I felt as though God had forgotten why He created me, but now I see that it was to prepare me for where I am today.

It started long ago. All of my life’s experiences created skills that were necessary to prepare me for this. I thought that I was only created to do one thing, but God showed me He created me to do many things, not just one thing. I was always interested in Rocketry. Little did I know that I would discover anti-gravity. This allowed man to escape earth’s gravitational pull without the use of millions of pounds of thrust. We were able to lift more payloads to space using the space that once was used for propellant to hold mission critical payload. After we escaped earth’s gravity, my team, using photon power, propelled the spacecraft to light speed, enabling man to explore new worlds that were once impossible to reach.

photon rocket in outer space.

Anti-gravity also has commercial success as hover boards, passenger planes and other gravity bound products that suddenly “took off”. Tires on cars are a thing of the past. With my profits from anti-gravity, I was able to finally create Walt Disney’s Epcot. It is a place where the most creative minds live and work to create things that benefit mankind. It is not an amusement park, it is what the original plan for Epcot was supposed to be.

The friendships that I created came out of retirement to pull together to make the vision a reality. Steve Story is our corporate attorney who oversees our legal department. Phillip Shucet has found civil engineers like Gary Mackey to create the structure and thoroughfares in Epcot. Jim Tomlinson heads up the hospital. Mike Padden heads up our architectural department. Laurie, my wife makes sure that my creative thinking time is undisturbed. She heads up the ice rink as well as the culinary school.

We now have hologram vision, another invention of mine that beams the picture from your TV into your living room. Fortunately the FCC keeps bad content from jumping into people’s living rooms!

I have a weekly TV show called “Don’t Stop Dreaming”. I found out in my 60’s that acquiring stuff wasn’t important, acquiring dreams was more important. I had stopped asking “What if…” but one day I decided to rekindle my imagination and let it go wild. It had been so long that the rusty gears took awhile to get going, but once they did, they started spinning like a top. Something in my life had jammed the gears, but now they were making up for lost time. I couldn’t stop the ideas from flowing. It was as if God was birthing new ideas in me every day. I said that I wanted to be used and was I ever! There were a lot of obstacles along the way, but with God’s help and a faithful team of dreamers, doors kept opening. A half century ago, I felt as if God had whispered in my ear that He was going to use me for something extraordinary, and let’s just say, it has been far more extraordinary than I could have dreamed.”

Ok, that was my dream. What is yours? You may have no idea. First you have to learn to daydream again. Learning to daydream, using your imagination is not as easy as it once was when we were younger. It’s going to take a little bit of practice. I do this best when I am in a quiet place with paper and pen.

Now, go start daydreaming!