Almost twenty years ago (from what I recall), Sensei made a rather drastic change in his life. He had spent the previous decades in various levels of law enforcement and had been working at the head correctional officer for a municipal jail. At some point, he faced some work-related issues that ironically, are eerily similar to my own. But he took this opportunity to knuckle down and try to find something he wanted to do that would make him happy.
I remember him coming to karate class and being full of piss and vinegar (more so than usual) and talking about the research he was doing and the studies he had begun. I didn’t understand most of it at the time, but ultimately he was studying to transition into a career involving Chinese Medicine, Herbology and Acupressure. Much to my dismay, he transformed his home dojo into a clinic and once he graduated all the certifications he needed in order to do so, he bang taking in clients and stepped down from his current career.
I say it was to my dismay, because I had passed a number of belt tests in that dojo and changing it into a clinic meant I wouldn’t be passing my black belt there. Which I didn’t. Unfortunately. But hey, good for him! I asked him why he chose acupressure over the more popular and recognized acupuncture, to which he replied that he preferred the personal touch it involved, as opposed to jabbing someone with a bunch of surgical needles.
My point is that once his clinic was in full swing and things were picking up, I asked him how things were going. He said, “I’m doing something I love and enjoy, five days a week. It provides me with income to live and I get to continue doing it. So ask yourself, if I love what I do, and the money is coming in on its own, when am I doing actual ‘work’?” His choice of words and the look of serenity on his face have not only echoed in the back of my mind over the years, I’ve been hearing it prominently over the past two or three.
“Choose A Job You Love, And You Will Never Have To Work A Day in Your Life.”– Confucius
It can be difficult, painful even, to try and find a career that you want to do with something that you LOVE to do. But if you manage to find it, you no longer have to concern yourself with money as it will come on its own. You simply need to keep doing what you love; whether that means owning your own business, being in law enforcement or working as a mortician. Not everything if for everybody, so the challenge comes from finding what’s right for you.
To this day, Sensei still has his clinic open. Pandemic issues aside, of course. In fact, his choice of career inspired his son to study and take up acupressure and open a clinic of his own, as well. Besides doing what they love, it also puts them in that coveted employment category of being business owners, which has its shares of ups and downs, of course. But the point is that if you go into work everyday, unhappy and unsatisfied with what you’re doing, maybe it’s time for a change. There’s like to be something better waiting you, just around the corner. ☯