A calling ...

"We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims."

"Make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

- Buckminster Fuller

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Master Plan

In Paulo Coehlo's The Alchemist, Santiago, is a young Spanish shepherd who wants to travel. Santiago decides to become a shepherd after his father tells him that he can travel from town to town if he becomes a shepherd. His father gives Santiago some gold medallions, which Santiago uses to purchase his flock. While herding his sheep from pasture to pasture and town to town, Santiago is bothered by a nightly dream. He visits a fortune teller. The fortune teller tells Santiago that if he travels to the pyramids in Egypt he will find his treasure. Instead of charging for her services, she insists that Santiago must promise to pay him one-tenth of his treasure before sending him on his way to seek his "Personal Legend." Santiago encounters numerous hurdles on his way, but at each obstacle, the "Universe conspires" to help him do whatever he needs to do to achieve his Personal Legend.

After a night where Santiago sleeps under the stars with his sheep inside an abandoned church, Santiago has a chance encounter with the King of Salem, who teaches Santiago how to interpret omens and instructs Santiago to sell his flock to pay for his passage to Africa. The King takes one-tenth of Santiago's flock as payment for his information.

Liberated from his responsibilities to his flock, Santiago arrives in Tangiers and wanders into a bewildering, noisy market place, where trade is conducted in Arabic. In a bar, Santiago meets a boy his age who promises to take him to the Pyramids, but instead of purchasing a camel for the journey, the young thief disappears into the crowd with all of Santiago's money. A resourceful fellow, Santiago offers to dust off the crystal in the window of a crystal shop in exchange for a bite to eat. While Santiago is dusting off the crystal in the window, customers are attracted to the shop and buy some crystal. The owner offers Santiago a job as a salesperson with a small salary and generous commission. Since Santiago does not want to forgo his quest, he hesitates to accept, but the shopkeeper explains that Santiago will need considerably more money to pay for a journey across the desert to reach the pyramids, so Santiago agrees to work at the crystal shop. Santiago enjoys considerable success as a salesman and the business prospers, Santiago never loses sight of his Personal Legend, and within a year, he earns enough money to continue his journey. While at the crystal shop, Santiago learns about the difference between the owner and himself: the owner is comfortable where he is, whereas Santiago is driven by the need to seek his Personal Legend, so Santiago finds a caravan and continues his journey ...

The other day, dad offered to speak with the president of a building supply company that is one of his clients. I also noticed in the paper that the company needs a kitchen cabinet sales person, a  job that I know something about and could easily do, but like Santiago, I don't want to get stuck there. While speaking on the phone with my good friend Ricky, who spent the summer painting our house, Rick told me that I should go get the job at the supply house, which happens to be five minutes from my house, and that I could advertise tutoring services on Craig's List after I secure an income stream. Like Santiago, I am extremely hesitant about working for another supply house customer of my dad's, because the last time I did that, I ended up the company for 16-1/2 years.

Today, I heard that over there were over 30,000 applicants to the county to which I applied, for about 1,000 jobs. The fact is, had I been better prepared, I should have gotten one of those jobs. Having stopped feeling sorry for myself, I have dived back into my professional development projects, so that if an when another opportunity presents itself, I will be better prepared the next time.