Category Archives: Guest Blog Posts
This is advice that we can all apply, at any age. I speak with many people of all ages still searching for answers and can benefit from the wisdom below. If you can apply this advice at 18 and get a jump of your best life, so much the better. ~*~ Eileen
Recently an 18-year-old who is finishing school wrote to me, asking for advice on choosing a career without enough life and work experience to make an intelligent decision.
He said, “Should I take the road less traveled, which may be risky and fearful, or choose a college course that interests me to some degree and see where that leads to. I suppose I don’t want to end up as the typical everyday-joe at the office from 9-5. I want to be different from the masses, to make an impact on this world, to be fulfilled. How do I get the best start into adulthood?”
It’s such a great question. And what I love is that he’s asking the question in the first place — most 18-year-olds just take the safe route.
Here’s what I’d say: take the career path less traveled.
If you don’t want to be the typical Everyday Joe, in a 9-to-5 office job, don’t go the route that everybody else takes.
If you want to be different than the masses, you have to take a different path.
I took the safe path when I was 18, and got a job and went to college, and it didn’t screw me up … but it also took me nearly 20 years before I finally found what I loved to do. It was a struggle, being on the road that’s well traveled, because I was consigned to a career I didn’t really like.
Yes, the career path less traveled is scarier. There are no guarantees. You are sticking your neck out, taking risks, being different, probably to the scorn of others. This is lonely.
But the loneliness is temporary. Soon you’ll find others who are doing things different, and you’ll connect with them in a way you’d never have connected with the people taking the safe path. You’ll be inspired by them, and inspire them in turn.
And the scariness is a lesson worth learning — if you can overcome a bit of fear, you can do anything. You’re not limited to the world of comfort and safety.
So what do you do on this scary, lonely, exciting path?
That’s totally up to you — you are empowered to figure things out on your own.
But here are some ideas:
- Learn about who you are. Meditate, and blog. Those are the best two tools for learning about yourself.
- Teach yourself stuff. The Internet has anything you want to learn, from writing to 3D animation to programming to carpentry to guitar. Never stop learning.
- Find out how to motivate yourself. There will be times when you don’t feel like doing anything. This is a good problem to have, because you’ll have to figure out how to solve it or else go get a boring job where someone motivates you. Solve it. You’ll be much better prepared for the road.
- Figure out what you’re passionate about. This isn’t easy, because it takes a lot of trial and error. Try a lot of things. When you get good at something, by the way, you’ll like it much more. You’ll suck at everything at first.
- Help others. When someone doesn’t know how to do something, teach them. When they need a hand, lend it. When they’re stuck, offer yourself up. Seek ways to help. It will teach you a lot, including who you are and what you’re passionate about. It’s also good motivation.
- Connect with others. Find people who love what you love, who are doing weird things, who travel, who make their own path. They are awesome and fun to hang out with.
- Learn to need little. If you need very little, you don’t need to make much. This frees you up to learn and explore more.
- Explore the world. You can travel very cheaply if you need little. Meet new people. Learn languages. Work odd jobs.
- Get really good at something. Practice, read more, watch others who are good, steal ideas and make them your own, work on projects that excite you and learn as you work on them, practice more.
- Teach something valuable. If you learn to program, teach a beginner. If you learn poker or guitar or martial arts, teach that. People will thank you.
- Get paid as a freelancer. When you’ve learned a skill, hire yourself out online. You don’t have to be awesome yet, just don’t charge a lot. Try to really deliver. On time. Be trustworthy and your reputation will grow.
- Sell something. Make a small product, whether digital or real world, and sell it. You learn a lot by selling.
- Learn to be a good person. Show up on time. Try your best to meet deadlines. Be honest. Learn compassion. Keep your word. Especially to yourself.
If you do half these things, you’ll love the path. If you do almost all of them, your impact on the world will be palpable.
And when you’ve been traveling this path for 6 months or more, write me back and tell me how it’s going.
- Letter to an 18-year-old on the Career Path Less Traveled (zenhabits.net)
This is a beautiful post from my dear friend Brittany K. James.
This time of year (Halloween/Samain) is really about the process of going into a deeper, more sacred place about those whom we have loved and who have gone on ahead.
Brittany’s blog post spoke to me in that I am processing the loss of my loved ones a lot lately, and preparing for the loss of my mom. Her beautiful post speaks of a way to go deeper into it and is very supportive. So, I wanted to share it with my readers.
“The head will never get you where your heart needs to go”
I feel the need to talk about loss. I know it’s because Samhain (pronounced sow-wen) is nearly upon us. This is the ancient Celtic festival that Halloween is based on. It is a time of year when the veil between the worlds is thin and we can easily feel the presence of those who have passed over. Traditionally, this is a time to honor our loved ones in spirit, especially those who have passed in the last year. But this isn’t meant to be somber. This is meant to be a respectful communion, an honor, a tribute. The hardest thing is to lose someone we love. It’s devastating, and no matter how much we understand it, we still feel pain. I once described to a friend that losing someone you love leaves a hole in you that never gets filled. You just learn how to live with it…
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Another wonderful guest blog post this month. This time it is from my dear friend Brittany K. James.
One of the hardest lessons to learn on the spiritual path is that not all spiritual people have their act together. I remember when I thought that if someone was psychic they must be so self aware, so in tune with Spirit, so together. I remember when I thought that all spiritual teachers put into practice what they taught. I eventually learned to separate the teachings from the teacher…..if the teachings were valid, of course. It’s a tough lesson. As you go through your life on a spiritual path you will eventually come up against the conundrum of finding a ‘teacher’ who does not walk their talk. So, how do we handle this?
First, we must examine the teaching. Is is actually rooted in Truth and does it give us a spiritual experience that moves us forward on our path? If the answer is ‘no’ then move…
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Oh my gosh Lissa Ranklin…I love you.Thank you so much for this. I admire people who will step up and tell it like it is. I always admire the courage of true champions of conscious living, not afraid to speak up for our world, for fear of offending the meanies, the “Me Monsters.”
I think we are at a place and time where we cannot afford anything less than that. If teachers and healers are working in the light, the Universe is fully supporting those who take a stand for the light, for Compassionate Action and for teaching empathy. All of us evolving, the planet, all of creation!
Lissa Rankin writes an open letter to bullies and mean people everywhere.
Read Lissa’s blog post on lissarankin.com
An amazing interview with Sean Penn, who is obviously going through a transformative phase, the archetype of spiritual warrior. As he continues to help the abandoned people of Haiti, Penn battles his shadow and the darker side of humanity as well and finding the higher meaning that we all struggle for in these life experiences. ~E
See on video.today.msnbc.msn.com