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Author Topic: Follow your heart?
PanaceaSanans
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"It's such a lie that you should do what's in your heart. If we all did what was in our hearts, the world would grind to a halt."

I love my job, I really do. But it is very demanding at times, and I have been quoted saying I'll drop out and become a cashier.

Which is not really what I would do if I'd followed my heart either. Because I would totally be a biologist and researcher like Dr. Jane Goodall or Dr. Ingrid Visser... Primarily like Dr. Visser... Exactly like Dr. Visser. [Big Grin] I love animals, and I especially love orca. If I followed my heart, I would be in New Zealand, owning a boat, out on the ocean looking for orca all day long, probably unemployed, or working as a cashier to at least earn a living. And I would most probably regret the decision one day.

Instead, I followed my brain, and went to university, and have a rather fool-proof job now that will feed my children and allow me to grow old without worrying too much about financials.

But every once in a while I wish... [Roll Eyes]

---

So, do you follow your heart? Where did it lead you?
Or if you didn't, where would you be now if you had?

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theamazeeaz
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Well that was silly. You can't spend all day on your own boat looking for killer whales, but you can get a job on a boat. People who work on the right boats get paid $$$$ (see http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/how-to-afford-anything.htm).
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Sean Monahan
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When I got out of high school, I went to college for music. I went into this knowing full well that it was very very unlikely that I would be able to make a career out of this (songwriting and composing specifically). For many years after that, I paid my bills through clerical office work. Years later, I was very interested in learning how to program, and the opportunity arose to go back to school. I took a few classes. I liked it, but I didn't know if I would love it, and I didn't know if I would go all the way to earning a degree. As it turned out, I did love it, and I did get a degree. That's how I now earn my living.

I've been very lucky in my life to have been able to follow my heart in two separate directions, and doubly lucky that one of those directions was able to provide me with a comfortable living.

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PanaceaSanans
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amazee, I don't understand what exactly "was silly" in your point of few. My post? My choice? My reasoning?

Sean, good to hear it turned out that well for you. That's really how I feel, too: As I said, I do love my job. But it was chosen primarily for rational reasons, not emotional ones, and I did not know whether I would grow to love it, but I definitely do. Which doesn't mean I would not love to spend all day looking for (or better: at) animals. [Smile]

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theamazeeaz
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I think your choice was silly because being a biologist and working with animals isn't exactly like dreaming of being a famous actor which does take hard work and talent, but mostly luck and connections. The former is a matter of getting accepted to the right programs, which is a matter of your education.

You say gave up your dream of being a biologist by going to university and "following your brain".

That's where a career working with animals starts, and your brain is going to do the heavy lifting. You need a bachelor's in biology or zoology before you go onto a graduate degree (which you also need). I'm not a biologist (but I do work in the sciences), and it's worth pointing out that graduate degrees in the sciences are paid for by the professor you work with, not the student. Internships also pay. The sciences do not really do unpaid internships.

If, for some reason, things aren't working out for you, you have a bio degree (STEM pays the bills) and memories of internships..

There's also veterinary school. And if you are just keen to watch animals specifically from boats, the myriad of vocational (and engineering) careers that can get you on research vessels that deploy for a couple of months at a time (I think some of my friends who went to Caltech got on one of those and went somewhere in the south Pacific, which included Australia/New Zealand).

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PanaceaSanans
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quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
being a biologist and working with animals isn't exactly like dreaming of being a famous actor - which does take hard work and talent, but mostly luck and connections.

When you grow up in Germany and want to work with orca, it kinda is, though... Because you'd need to emigrate to do that, and for a German biologist to be permitted immigration by New Zealand or Canada or Norway takes quite some luck or connections.
Also, it's doesn't take much luck/connections to be an actor, it's only being a famous actor that does, as you correctly pointed out. It's not that different for biologists really. Very few are lucky enough to get that awesome job deal of being paid well for monitoring animals all day long. I did not give up on the dream of being a biologist, I gave up on the dream of being a famous, generously funded biologist. I realized that my chance at a secure (and well paid) job would be facilitated by choosing a different path. I would not exactly call that silly.


quote:
Originally posted by theamazeeaz:
There's also veterinary school.

That was an option. [Smile] I discarded it because I am unable to hurt animals, no matter the motive. Sure, treating them helps them, but it also hurts them more often than not, and they don't understand, and I just cannot possibly bring myself to do it.
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Lyrhawn
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I followed my heart until my heart gave up. Sort of.

I've wanted to be a writer since I was a kid, but I never really had an appetite for the starving artist thing of trying to get by on just my writing. I still write in my free time, but I doubt it'll ever be my career.

My "backup" career that I thought was much more realistic and responsible, was to be a college professor. So I double majored in undergrad, won a full ride scholarship to a pretty good graduate school program in history, and about halfway through I realized that becoming a college professor wasn't much more likely than being an author. Graduate schools are graduating too many PhDs, debt is too high, universities are cutting back on full time professors in favor of part time grossly underpaid adjuncts and even if I got into a good PhD program, the chance of getting into a good job in a part of the country I actually wanted to live in was pretty slim.

So I dropped out of that dream too. Now I'm in a field of work I not only never though I'd never be doing, I specifically rejected as a child as laughably that I'd ever be doing it. It's definitely not something I love. But now that I've been doing it for a couple years, I'd say it's something I like more often than not. And I fulfilled my parents' dreams of having a better life than they had, which gives me a lot of pride.

So I didn't follow my heart...but maybe my heart followed me a bit.

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zlogdanbr
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well, right now I am following the needs of the family. My heart is however half touched by my current job because I half the time write C code ( it is not modern C++ where my heart is but at least is C ) but I know what you feel.
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Scott R
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Follow your heart, but make sure your brain is engaged in the journey.
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