December 7, 2012 by JT Schonhoft
“Anything is possible, given the proper means” – me
“Do Big Things” – me
For a few years now I’ve been trying to find what my true passion is and figure out a way to turn it into a career. Since college, I’ve had a few jobs that fit me rather well – IF I want to continue working for someone else – which I do NOT plan on doing much longer. My college experience was amazing and I couldn’t have asked for anything more. It pointed me in the right direction for a career. I’ve been able to combine my technical ability and understanding of manufacturing engineering with my people skills to become a sales manager in a rather short time. It took me about 2 years to get where I am today.
That might sound great and all, but it doesn’t mean I’m doing EXACTLY what it is I want. I’ve also learned that money does NOT make us happy. There’s a certain amount of income that once you’ve surpassed it, your happiness level does not increase. Some of my favorite books have taught me this. They include Russell Simmons – “Do You” and “Super Rich”. These books helped me to make some powerful realizations in life. Including but not limited to; yoga, meditation, loving everyone, crushing ego, eliminating material want etc.
I want to take a true passion and turn it into a career. I’m talking about something that makes me want to jump out of bed in the morning and keeps a smile on my face all day. Something that others can feel my excitement about just by being around me. I’ve had that feeling lately and felt inspired to write about it. Hence the reason for this post.
There are a few things in my life that I am that excited about right now. Those include but are not limited to; snowboarding, mountain biking, sky diving, helping others, video production etc. When I do these things or even talk about them, I feel amazing. That feeling is what I want to channel into my work and career.
In the past few years I’ve been taking active steps to figure out what it is I want to do. Where I first began was by simply paying more attention to my own wants and desires. I asked myself “what things do I like to do” and most importantly, “what do I NOT like to do?” This quickly made me realize that most of what I don’t like doing are the things that also make me money. Something is wrong with that equation, very wrong. It’s easy to find things you DON’T like to do, and for some, even easier to find things you DO. Although, I do know people who only spend time and energy on their work. If it’s work they love doing, then good for them. If not, then they are wasting an amazing existence here on this earth and I feel sorry for them – if that’s you – follow me on this journey as I make this happen for myself. Anything is possible and I’m going to prove it.
Where I started finding hope
I started finding hope that this is possible when I found a few people online who are already doing passionate work they love. The biggest influence on me so far has been a guy by the name of Scott Dinsmore. He was already well along in his journey to inspire others to do work they love. I immediately subscribed to his emails, started following him on Twitter, started reading his blog etc. He’s actually pretty much the reason for this post. Scott recently did a Ted Talk. If you don’t know what TED Talks are, follow the link and start watching other Ted Talks as well. They’re incredibly inspiring. It was a dream come true for him to do a Ted Talk and I know this because he has blogged about it in the past expressing his passionate desire for the achievement. Being invited to one of these is no easy feat. He recently blogged about his experience and how he was able to get there. His passion and perseverance pulled him toward his dream and he achieved it!
Another recent incident in my life has given me an amazing amount of passion and belief in myself. My younger brother Jake was recently in an accident where he had a brain injury. Since the accident I’ve spent many hour blogging about his story on my other blog. I won’t go into too many details here since you can read it all there. Go to wakejake.com to read more about it and to donate money as well as purchase merchandise to support Jake. OK so on to where my inspiration came from all of this. First of all, my brother Jake’s ability to recover so quickly (He’s not fully recovered) has shown me that literally anything is possible – given the proper means. I almost tear up just writing this sentence. This has affected me in such a massive way.
I just had a vivid memory of a job interview my senior year at Purdue where I was asked to explain myself and how I am different. I explained to the woman: “I truly believe that anything is possible – given the proper means.” She looked at me like I was crazy. I was riding a powerful wave of confidence at this particular moment in my life. I had been co-oping at Honda and was rather successful. I filed for 2 patents while I was there. That made me realize my potential. This particular interview was one where I flew to a far away city. It was kind of a big deal. Her response to my statement really discouraged me. To this day, I think I didn’t get that job due to that statement. It was a brief window into the real world where the people in a company are controlled from the top down. And if you don’t feel the same way as the guy on top, you’re crazy. Since then I’ve felt like maybe she was right. But now I realize that’s not true. The truth was, she just didn’t believe, she wasn’t inspired. Well I’m back on that mindset and incredibly excited about it.
In college I coined a phrase or myself: “Do big things” I remember when I started saying it. It was the name of one of my Facebook photo albums, I believe. The meaning behind that has changed over the years as I’ve grown, but it still holds true. My life sort of revolves around it. I feel that while I’m here on this planet, I might as well do it as big as possible. And you should too. I’m obsessed with taking ideas and making them a reality. It’s an amazing feeling. And that’s just one way of fulfilling that desire to do big things. Make life memorable, you only get one shot at it.
The Wake Jake Campaign
When the accident happened I felt a deep desire to do something for Jake as he lay there unable to do anything for himself. Talk about passion. The first thing that came to mind was to raise money for him to cover medical costs since he is a student and is already in debt. At the time I started the Wake Jake campaign we had no clue when he would be out of this and there was talk about a helicopter transport to another hospital. Helicopter rides are NOT cheap. It was an incredibly stressful time for our family and tension was running very high. But we rallied around him and did an amazing thing. Long story short, I was able to raise over $25,000 for him in under one month. I would go into more detail on how I did that but I’m thinking about creating a webinar explaining each step. It could potentially become a product that I offer once my full site is launched. Scott, what do you think? I want to help others realize the power of social media as a tool to provide for a meaningful cause. That’s just one of my many ideas.
This whole experience has truly made me feel empowered. All of this has proven to me, and hopefully to everyone else following the story, that my original statement rings true : Anything is possible – given the proper means. I hope all of you realize that as well and use that power to go do something amazing. You are awesome and you have something to offer. Everyone does. Let’s all start to focus on the good things in life. I already do this, but it often times feels like everyone around me isn’t thinking that way. And I have to be honest, that makes me feel uncomfortable sometimes😒. I try to influence others to think like me by leading by example, but something tells me that isn’t enough. That’s why I’m embarking on this new journey to go after what I want. And hopefully I can affect those around me in a positive way. Are you coming?
Thanks for reading.
Channel your inner awesome