I ended up at college Fall 2012, and pursued my degree while working an average of 25-30 hours a week. My senior semester I was only taking one class and working full time in security. I started working out consistently second semester sophomore year and put on 25lbs. Apart from some of the more normal things in life, everything I did was oriented towards my goal of going into operations.
At 20 I was finishing college early, had my foot in the door with private security, and was working armed security for a second company.
At the beginning of 2016, however, I began to question if a life dedicated to operations was something for which I was willing to sacrifice all my other interests and desires.
I knew it meant pushing off a family, some of my sports activity, and pursuing my intellectual interests. I began applying to other jobs to see where they might lead and at one point ended up at an unrelated event hosted by the Daniel Morgan Graduate School where I was eventually offered a job and a Master’s in National Security.
This brings us to when my idea of fighting the good fight and affecting change in the world began to wither. The more I worked in and around D.C. and interacted with the shakers and movers of the world, the more I realized that – the world is a messed up place run by, comparatively, messed up people.
I thought that maybe I could circumvent this by starting my own security/contracting company and actually began exploring this very seriously. However, I again ran into the problem of still needing to eventually partner and deal with people who did not share my same values.
Which meant I was back to square one – what did I want to do with my life? No matter how hard I tried, worked, or fought, there would always be war with people dying and suffering somewhere.
My motivation dropped significantly early December 2016 and for the last several months I’ve had about a million ideas of what I could do, all of which went nowhere.
It was even difficult to remain consistent with my fitness regime – something I had maintained throughout most of college, even when I was working 45-65hrs a week at times. I talked with my dad, my mom, my friends, and others. I prayed, I thought, I read, I watched motivational YouTube vids – nothing filled this new void in my mentality.
And then on Sunday May 21 the thought came to me – maybe it is okay to have my work life be separate from my pursuit of this mission and rather have that pursuit of goodness and nobility manifested in my daily and personal action and interaction.
The world is a more complicated place than it was during the time of the Greeks, the Romans, the medieval time period, the American revolution, and to some extent even WWII and the Cold War.
Today, we don’t live in isolated parts of the world where the actions of one man can dramatically alter an entire country or region.
Goodness, righteousness, and nobility are still worth pursuing, but we should not measure our effectiveness by the position we hold or the career we choose.
Focus on your personal action and interactions as those are the areas where you can affect true and lasting change in people’s lives.
And yes, your choices will subsequently affect your business and career decisions, but this is different from having your entire career defined by that pursuit. You will not find lasting satisfaction in what amounts to a temporary pursuit, because the world will continue to spin on.
Obviously some are gifted with their career being oriented towards such grandiose goals, but are they changing the world or just affecting the lives of the comparatively few that are reached?
No matter what your job or career, the same holds true for you. It’s okay to have a career that isn’t about changing the world, just remember to continue to pursue higher things in your personal life.
Your life cannot be defined by your career, but should be defined by who you are as an individual.
Be focused on walking in goodness, righteousness, and nobility and you will meaningfully impact the lives of those around you.