Coming up with topics to write about for this blog is tricky. I frequently spend more time thinking about what to write than actually writing it. Even after a 2-week blogging break with Easter and then a podcast appearance, I struggled again this week for an idea for content. As I pondered ideas for subject material, I was reminded that May is graduation season for high school and college seniors. While it’s no doubt an exciting time for those seniors, it’s also a time where teachers, friends, family and other mentors begin sharing their best advice for those moving on to the next chapter of their life. So, for this month, for the weekly blog I wanted to share some of the best advice I’ve received from some of my mentors over the years.
As I reflected on some of those conversations I had between high school and college. The one that always stands out first is a conversation with my friend, Bob Kay.
Bob was a lot of things to a lot of people. He was a husband, dad, grandfather, school teacher, coach, coworker, and to me, a friend. I met Bob when I was around 14 or 15 years old. During my high school years, I was very fortunate to spend most of my Saturday mornings working at the local radio station, WDAN. Every morning, while doing other tasks, I got a front row seat to my favorite radio show “Saturday Morning Sports Talk” with Mike Hulvey, Eric Westfall, Fowler Connell, Harry Eisenhauer, and of course, Bob Kay. They were a blast. They had great stories and insights about sports and life, and told those stories with humor and heart.
On one particular Saturday morning, Mike called me into the studio to talk to the guys. It was one of the last, if not my final Saturday morning at the radio station, since I was a senior getting ready to head off to college at Indiana University. I received a couple gifts, and then the guys each took time to share some advice. It’s been 15 years since I received that advice, and my memory on much of the interaction has faded, but I do remember two things. First, I remember Mike shamelessly trying to convert me to an Indianapolis Colts fan (since I would soon be residing in that state) while simultaneously attempting to prevent me from rooting for the Hoosiers over the hometown Illini. He did this with the gifts he gave, a Colts hat and an Illini t-shirt. The other bit I remember, is what Bob told me. I’m paraphrasing but it was something along the lines of, “Rob, figure out what you love doing, and make that your career. If you love digging holes, and can find someone to pay you to do it, life will be so much more enjoyable than doing something because the pay is good.”
It was a simple sentiment, but it tool me awhile to “get it”. I’ve liked every job I’ve ever had. I’ve enjoyed the people I’ve worked with, and had fun doing these things. But when you find that thing you love, it’s a next level feeling. Hours worked feel like minutes, long chores feel like adventures, and everyday you’re doing it, you feel happy. A job you love can’t drain you. It’s impossible because it’s charging you up instead. That’s how I feel when I’m writing and doing anything related to Super Penguin and I wish I had started a decade earlier.
I hope that everyone reading this LOVES their job. And if you don’t, I hope you find the courage to start pursuing the things you do love, even if it’s digging holes. Whether you’re 18, 81, or anywhere before, after or in-between, it’s not too late to pursue your passion.