Of course this is a tricky question. The meaning of life is different for each person but one thing we have in common is that we’re all searching for meaning.
Why You Should Quit Your Job, But Can’t
One thing I’ve learned about life so far is that it’s too short to spend doing something you don’t enjoy. Something else I’ve learned is that many things are easier said than done, especially things that are worth doing. It’s one thing to say “quit your job and find something that make you happy”, it’s entirely another thing to actually do it. I mean to actually pull the trigger, to walk out on a stable income source, especially when you have no idea what you’re going to do next!
Many of us in the tech industry face a dilemma that others would love to have. We are well paid for what we do, even if we don’t enjoy doing it. Our skills in resume are highly valued by employers and they’re willing to shell out the cash for our time. The problem we run into is that somewhere down the line we realize the stress and quality of life factors aren’t worth the money they’re paying us. By the time the dark side of the tech world rears its ugly head many of us are already hooked on the income.
The nuances of corporate work, time pressures, and 24/7 support make us miserable but we don’t know how to walk away to something entirely different and kiss that nice paycheck goodbye.
How to Make Money for Yourself
How can you apply your tech skills to make money for yourself? Of course if you had an answer to that question you might not be at this site in the first place. The truth is if you don't have a way of earning income directly for yourself without going through an employer your options in life are more limited. Once you can use your skills to generate independent income you’re then free to decide what hours to work, what projects to work on, where you work, who to work with, what work you can do that makes you happy.
Many of us in the technology industry have come to value our time based on what an employer will pay us. Since we don’t know a way to make money directly off of our skills, we have to depend on a company for income. The whole point of this site is to help you evaluate the different opportunities you have as a technology professional to begin working for yourself instead of for a corporation. Of course, there is work, learning, and time involved in this endeavor but it’s definitely time and energy well spent.
Decide to Make a Change
The bad news is that you can’t make this transition overnight. The good news is that your technology skills will help you jump into it with both feet and give you an edge. Okay, you won’t replace your income in a week, but the sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll meet your goals.
If you want to be successful in something you need to apply the correct principles. Be persistent, believe in yourself, and be willing to start small, to take some little steps ... and find a strategy to implement these principles.
The secret is not in the methods but in your wiliness to apply some principles. I speak 7 different languages and for any of them, I didn't wake up a Monday morning discovering that I was able to speak a new language.
Learning a language requires self-discipline, patience, perseverance, an "I-can-do-it" attitude and a strategy. We all are different and a particular method may work for Suzie and not for John ... but Suzie and John have an human brain ... it's why applying the correct principles is most important than the method itself.
I know several people who spend a lot of money buying expensive methods to learn a language and they don't know how to apply principles related to self-improvement ... then, they give up because they get discouraged and frustrated ... then, they blame the method. If you are ineffective, before your start blaming the method or President Bush, check yourself ... if you don't want to grow up ... then you can blame everything outside of yourself ... Go ahead!
It's tough to learn something new because it takes a lot of courage, determination, energy, mental exercises etc... It’s so good to stay in our comfort zone and don't try anything. Well ... if we don't try anything and we don't want to pay the price, we shouldn't expect a reward either. Perseverance is always rewarded.
I would like to tell you that I possess the magic formula or the hidden secret that will allow you to wake up tomorrow morning and realize that you are fluent in your target language. I am sorry ... but I am an honest kind of person ... the hidden secret is that such magic formula doesn't exist. The secret is there is not secret. The secret is that you need to apply principles to succeed: be consistent, accept to make mistakes (That’s human nature), and keep trying until you reach your goals.
Marketers who use the word "secret" in their ad, who pretend to know the hidden secret to make you rich overnight or to make you lose 100 pounds in 2 days, or learn a foreign language is 10 days ... just try to make a sale because using the keyword "secret" in an ad increase sales ... there are words that are triggers ... We live in a microwave-mentality society, people tend to want everything fast ... they want everything RIGHT NOW ... and marketers play on that: Don't be a victim of marketing hype.
I am not a marketer but someone who is passionate about something and try to share her experiences to try to help somebody else. I don't recommend THE method because I don't believe that THE method exists, I recommend several methods that I think are good and I give people the freedom to choose because I believe that there are different type of learners and the learners have to choose a method according to his learning style ... Also, I don't believe than the power is in the method but the true resources are inside someone ... Succeed or fail in reaching your destination; it's up to you.
My third year in college, I decided I wanted to try learning a new language. I wasn’t sure which language exactly. I knew the language had to have a different writing system than English. At the same time, I wanted something with a high number of native speakers in my area so I could find frequent opportunities to practice in actual real life situations. In the end, I settled on Mandarin Chinese.
Chinese has very simple grammar compared to any of the other languages I have learned. Memorizing the characters takes time, but even that I enjoyed. I quickly found that my main challenge was the pronunciation. The sounds themselves weren’t difficult. However, I had never studied a language with tones before. Mandarin Chinese has four tones, and I couldn’t hear the difference between them. Since I couldn’t hear the variations, it was hard to properly pronounce them. I would do fairly well on everything except the speaking parts of exams.
After a lot of practice, I finally managed to get the first three tones down. I still had trouble telling them apart in conversation, but at least people could understand my pronunciations of them. The fourth tone, however, continued to elude me. I just couldn’t seem to say it correctly.
My breakthrough came when I was assigned a conversation partner during my third semester of Chinese. After I expressed my frustration with the fourth tone to the exchange student from Taiwan, she told me to put my tongue down whenever I pronounced it.
So I tried bringing my tongue down to the bottom of my mouth whenever I pronounced the fourth tone…and it worked! No more red marks on all the fourth tones of my speaking assessments. I was quite pleased. But I wondered why none of my Chinese professors ever gave this advice.
So I share this helpful tip here:
When pronouncing the fourth tone in Mandarin Chinese, bring your tongue down to the bottom of your mouth.
So many languages learners ask me how to acquire and develop self-confidence when talking a new language. My answer is that a language learner has to have faith in their ability to speak any language.
Faith brings actions. A language learner must know that making mistakes it's a part of a learning process. Fear, doubts and timidity have to be replaced by faith. A language learner MUST learn to interact and talk with natives of his target language. He has to go through the process. Unfortunately, there are a lot of languages learners who are afraid to talk. It's normal to be a little afraid to talk in another language because you think that people may not understand you but don't let that stop you.
It's like driving a car ... at the beginning you made a lot of mistakes ... you wasn't spontaneous, did that stop you to learn how to drive a car? ... I learned to drive a stick shift car because generally in France, we drive stick shift cars ... oh my God! I told my instructor that it was impossible to "do all that stuff" plus be attentive to the signals, to the traffic, to your speed etc.
When you start talking a new language, you think about all you have to do in order to be understandable ... you try to use the right terminology, to remember your vocabulary list, you try to think about how to structure your sentence, to use the right grammar, to remember what your teacher said ... and then, you wonder if what you are saying makes sense to those who listen to you. When you think about all the to-do-list, finally you wonder if it's possible to do all that stuff .... all that thinking create a lot of stress! Relax. It's like that at the beginning, it's a part of the learning curve ... but don't be discouraged you just need to keep going, your brain needs to go through this process in order to get it right. And when the brain gets it, it gets it.
When I finally mastered my stick shift car, driving becomes spontaneous, natural ... today when I drive, I don't wonder when I need to put my foot on the gas or on the brake ... if the way I position my hands on the wheel are right or wrong or where to turn my lights on. I don't have the stress of the beginner anymore.
When I speak a foreign language that I master, I don't have to think first in my native language and try to figure out how to translate to the other language .... Everything is spontaneous and natural. Something surprising (to me) is in my dreams, sometimes I talk in English instead of French (my native language). I live in the US, and I speak more English than French, I am completely immersed.
To get to the point to communicate in a foreign language as the same level than his native language, a language learner has to:
-Practice, practice and practice ...
- Overcome fears and doubts and dare to talk with natives (in the bus, in the park, at school, in his job etc.) wherever he can find a native speaker in his target language ... he has to engage a conversation with him/her even to say: Bonjour! comment ça va? (Good morning, how are you doing?).
My point is that building self-confidence is important and the only way you can do it's through practice. You will make some mistakes at the beginning ... so what?