What is the American Dream? Why can’t we achieve it? Every day we wake up and 80% of the people in America dread going to work. We work our whole lives to position ourselves to do what it is that we want to do and yet 80% of us are still unsatisfied with working the hours we have too.
I went to college for 4 years and got a degree in political science. I was sure I wanted to be a lawyer. It would have probably been a great move right out of college but my experiment at professional football failed miserably and by the time I returned to school things had changed for me. I went to law school for one semester and realized that it wasn’t going to be a move I would love. So I went back to the drawing board.
I got a job as a college football coach. I loved doing it. I couldn’t wait for the next day to start because I knew in my heart it was my calling. Then one day I realized that all I did was coach and I hadn’t tapped into my brain or maximized my full potential. Since I was on a college campus all day, I decided to get a Masters Degree in History Education. When I started learning again, it fueled a passion in me that I felt the need to embrace. I went from being a guy who couldn’t wait to go to work, to a guy who couldn’t wait to go to class. It was refreshing and it validated my need to share the things I was learning with others.
Upon completion of my Masters degree, I got a job as a middle school teacher. I did that in from 7:30 – 1:30 every day and from 2:30 – 9:30 in the evening I continued my career as a college football coach. Honestly I don’t know how I did it. Love for what I was doing on both ends made it easy to get up and do it. I remember working so hard that one Friday I came home and crashed. I went to sleep at on the living room floor at 6 pm on Friday night and didn’t fully wake up until Sunday morning at 10 am.
The girl I was dating at the time came to my house because she was sure I was out cheating somewhere and she sat and did her work at my place while I slept. She said she would look in the Honestly if she would have told me that she had slept that long, I would have given her the screw face too. I’m glad she showed up because I fell asleep with the door wide open and that’s never a good thing.
Back on topic. After a few weeks of long crashes, I decided that I had to make a choice and I chose academia. I took a job at a high school and began teaching exclusively. I used to wake up so full of energy and ready to shape young minds. Life was good. Then the next year things went south. My love for my profession was tested. The school stacked the deck against me and gave me all the problem kids in the school. A few kids like that is easy to handle but when you have a whole class of riff raff it becomes tedious.
I spent more time correcting behavior than teaching. Somehow that went on for a couple more years and then I got jaded by the profession. I went back to school to finish my academia by adding a doctorate and then I realized that maybe education isn’t for me. I thought that if I moved on to the college level that I would love what I do again. I taught college classes and realized that it wasn’t very different from what I was already doing. It was good and bad at the same time.
A few years ago I started doing radio and television on the side. Teaching has its rewards but it isn’t the most lucrative of professions. My knowledge of sports paired with my itch to coach again needed to be satisfied and radio and television broadcasting scratched that itch. I now understand why folks who do it do so for extended periods of time. It’s like Dick Vitale says, “I can’t believe they are paying me to do this.”
Since doing it, I’ve learned to love it. I can’t wait to do the next game. I look forward to going to work. I haven’t had this much fun going to work since I played ball for a living. That’s why I use the tagline “I USED TO BALL, NOW I CALL.”
Find that job that you’d do for free. Love it and make it your way of life. It’s the American Dream.