Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Factory society

Typical formula for success in America:

1) Listen to what your teachers say - follow instructions
2) Get good grades, graduate from high school
3) Go to college - listen to your professors
4) Declare a major that will determine your career path
5) Take out major school loans to pay for college
6) Graduate from college with major debt
7) Get a job, marry a trophy wife, buy a house, a new car, and have children.
8) Work hard for somebody else so that you can pay your bills.  Repeat day after day.

Do you know anyone who has followed these 8 steps?  If you know me, then you do.  Am I leading a successful life?  I'm not sure. (Although I Totally lucked out on #7)

I kinda feel like a product out of a factory.  A factory who's product is starting to become obsolete.  Hidden somewhere, deep down I hear a voice calling for me to do more.  It's a tiny voice.   Questions arise:

Should I listen the voice or stay on the same path?
What exactly am I being called to do?
Am I happy with the way things are going?
What if I change... and the change is awesome?
What if I try something different and fail? 
Could I recover?
What if I do nothing?

Am I alone, or do you too have an inner yearning, a belief that you are called to do more.  Have you acted on those gut feelings?  Is the voice getting louder?

I think the trick is to listen to that voice... and then start small.  Baby steps.  Gradually grow until you know its possible - then you go for mastery.  But the important thing is action.  If you fail, you learn.  If you learn, you can do it better next time.

Anyone want to join me?  I have a feeling this factory system won't cut it much longer.


  1. Very insightful post Nathan, very insightful indeed. You are not alone in your thoughts / struggles. I too often wonder / worry about the same things.

    In my case, the buzz-word in my field is "consolidation" - trying to get less people to do more work, and burden more responsibility (life and death responsibility) while paying them less.

    I foresee (and am fearful of) a future where my career path will no longer be as fulfilling and rewarding as it is now, and the compensation will no longer equal the costs of doing what I do.

    I long to have the skills and abilities to "create". To develop, create, produce, and deliver something that people want / need.

    Something more than service.

    Alas, I do not have those skills.

    For now, it's keep chugging away, and hope that I can find that "something else".

  2. Three books that really speak to this that you might like, and I recommend are "Linchpin" by Seth Godin, "Go Put Your Strengths to Work" by Marcus Buckingham and "Career Renegade" By Jonathan Fields. All are excellent. These books are convincing me to listen to that voice that calls us to greatness.

    You can do this, you have skill sets that nobody else has.