One of the very provocative statements included in a book of writing prompts that my son gave to me was the following: What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this? The prompt was only that and no specific connotation or context was provided. In other words, the question is not necessarily related to profession, hobby, personal time, or any other activity that we do.

While I have very few things that I would be doing if I weren’t doing what I am, it’s something I would submit to be a good lesson in bucket lists or what will I do when I grow up? If we are adults who are not doing what we want to do, why is that the case? If I weren’t teaching and writing, I am not very certain that I would be enjoying my life as much as I do.

The question that follows this one is why aren’t you doing something other than what you are? If it’s a question of finance, that makes sense. If you are so busy working that you haven’t had a chance to do as much traveling as you would like, that also seems reasonable.

But if you are at all like me, you don’t want to live most of your life being unhappy or frustrated that you didn’t do what you wanted to do rather than what you are doing. It’s always gratifying to hear stories about people who wanted to be nurses, doctors, teachers, fire fighters, or lawyers from the time that they had first had reason to think about future professions. That means that these are people who lived out their destinies as they chose.


If you’re unhappy at what you’re doing, maybe it’s time to think about alternatives. Having spent the first half of my career in sales, it was only the second half of my working life that I became an educator, a profession that I cherish. The possibility exists that I needed those years in sales in order to be effective in the classroom. I just might not have been ready. We only get one shot at life, making it imperative that we use that trip doing what makes us happy and fulfilled. Listen to your heart and if it’s telling you to do something new that will bring you greater joy, it’s probably time to make that change. Shalom.

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