Opinion: given a choice of anything you wanted, what would you do with your life?

Karen Madej

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We don’t have to do jobs we don’t like these days. If we decide we want to do something different we can find some free or paid courses to learn how to do what we love. And then work towards our dream job. In the US in Q3 2021, there were 10,721,666.66667 unfilled job vacancies.

“Do You Do It, Or Does It Do You?” Alan Watts

Years ago, when I was trawling the Internet for inspiration, I stumbled on a video of Alan Watts talking about what he says to his students to help them choose what they want to do with their lives.

Here are two quotes that changed my life.

What do you desire? What makes you itch? What sort of a situation would you like?” ~Alan Watts

“So I always ask the question, what would you like to do if money were no object?” ~Alan Watts

These are the questions I asked and answered.

Q1. What are your passions?

A1. Writing, reading, traveling, eating, socializing, photography, TV shows, and movies.

Q2. What are you good at doing?

A2. I speak with confidence and listen with patience to people from all walks of life. I have twenty years of business experience, twelve as a manager. These are valuable and marketable skills. I was good at solving problems; this didn’t mean that I enjoyed working 12 hour days as an operations manager.

Q3. If you didn’t have to worry about money, what would you choose to do?

A3. I would try out new countries and capture scenes with words and photos.

With the help of Google, I found teaching English as a foreign language as a career possibility. It suited my abilities and my passions. Plus, I love correcting people.

The Life Coach offers “5 questions to ask yourself for a more fulfilling career.” Including, “How do you want to work?” More people are working from home these days. Some work fewer hours. “Who do you want to work with?” For example, you might feel a strong pull to work with children or animals.

As for location, Prague in the Czech Republic was the best choice for me as it was easy to visit family and friends in the UK.

The grammar nearly beat me, though. I got through a month of intense training to become qualified to teach the unsuspecting business people of Prague. You’ve heard of fake it till you make it, haven’t you?

The first school I applied to put me through a seventy-two-word grammar test and offered me a job before I’d even finished the training.

According to the Director of Studies, it was the highest score he’d seen. I can only say it must have been due to all the reading I did as a youth!

I ran around town teaching English to business people, jumping on and off trams. I made life-long friends. For the first time in thirty-odd years, I lived on my own.

I studied creative writing for five years.

I travelled to Vienna, Austria; Nice, France; Moravia, Karlovy Vary, Marianski Lazne, and Cesky Krumlov, Czechia; Krakow, Poland.

Argentina called

A few years later, I sold my UK flat. The market had improved enough to pay off the mortgage and leave me with a small profit.

A 70-liter backpack, a wheelie cabin-sized suitcase, and a normal-sized backpack worn on my front contained all my worldly possessions.

I lived in Argentina for three months on that small profit. I wrote about my experiences. I taught English for a couple of language schools in Buenos Aires. I’ll go back one day to visit Mendoza and Patagonia.

Back to Prague

I returned to Prague in 2015 with a new online job coaching French business people for a language school based in France.

It paid very well.

I learned grammar.

I worked from home and didn’t have to run around Prague.

I traveled to Madrid and Barcelona in Spain. Bordeaux in France. Budapest in Hungary.

I even stayed in a five-star hotel in Kent, courtesy of my online coaching employers.

Discover and realize your passions

I changed my life by first selling or giving away most of my possessions, settling loans and credit cards, and then trial and error.

I rediscovered blogging in 2009. In 2020, I started writing online in my spare time. In 2021, I wrote for a living.

Most of us won’t change our careers overnight. We can work our way towards what we enjoy, though.

Maybe you are successful and happy in your job.

If you aren’t, why not ask yourself the four questions and take action? If you are stuck for inspiration, Coolest Dream Jobs in the World offers, in my opinion, 50 of the weirdest jobs in the world! How about an ostrich sitter, professional cuddler, or gum taster?

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Of course, travel is no longer an easy option. Perhaps in the future. But we can work online, Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language (ESL/EFL) without a degree, or choose from 100s of free online courses from Coursera.

Given a choice of anything you wanted and money was no object, what would you do with your life?

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Passionate about climate change and living a debt-free, sustainable life. Determined to learn how to and build an adobe house or Earthship. The goal is to live off-grid and off the land. Energy for heat and to power electrical devices and appliances will use solar, wind, and hydro-powered electricity. No trees will die to make my home.

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