I came across Steve Pavlina’s blog about personal development the other day, and started reading back through previous posts.
Reading one post in particular – about “Career Apathy”, or being at a point in a career or a job where literally, all sense of feeling is gone – I had some questions. I know people stuck in this kind of apathy, but I wanted to clear a few things up about the article.
Steve’s advice to people in this situation was to just walk away from the job – “to dump a job you don’t absolutely love is to give up nothing”.
Asking a question
My question was, what if this career-apathetic person is the sole provider for the family? How does one walk away from a job with no savings, and somehow continue to support a family?
Steve (and others) replied that hiding behind the need to support a family is just an excuse that holds people back. We bantered back and forth a bit longer, until I got tired of this seemingly lofty rhetoric with no practical answers. (You can read the whole thread.)
After turning it over and over in my head for a few days, I realized what made me so angry about the whole exchange – I felt like I was being insulted for asking a question! I came to the forum asking for some specific details about the situation outlined in the post, and I was met with criticism and hostility. (I know many people take Steve’s advice as gold, so maybe I asked the question in the wrong place. Either way…)
Inquiry and education
I realized that this experience actually had a lot to do with education. I’m a very pragmatic person, and I like knowing everything that I can about a topic. But as someone trying to learn something new, feeling like I wasn’t being taken seriously hit me hard.
What if, growing up, every time you asked a teacher a question, they told you that you were “wasting your time”?
What if when you asked for proof of what they were saying, they told you that you had the wrong attitude?
What would education be like, if you were told to take everything that someone taught you at face value? And that asking questions was wrong?