I had a mini-epiphany this week. I really LOVE what I do. Seriously. I love teaching and writing about finance. I know that sounds like about the nerdiest thing ever, but that’s the way it is. I chose this profession because I find it interesting and challenging and there is always something new to discover whether it’s new students or new questions to answer. I get to travel to interesting places and meet people with similar interests. There typically aren’t too many people ‘like me’ in the crowd (check out the picture to see what I mean), but when you really think about it, how many people are there in the world who are REALLY like me?!
Over these two months or so that I haven’t blogged, I debated about if I should re-start the blog or not. I missed the writing, but that whole 500-words-a-day thing was getting OLD! I received lots of great comments from folks who were amazingly loyal and even got a few speaking invitations in my infamous ’365 Days’. That was WICKED COOL!
I realize that I’m a little late in figuring this out, but I noticed that when I do something I love, I do it a little better and when I love what I’m doing, I’m a whole lot happier. On Monday nights, I teach an introductory finance class. I don’t get finished until 9:30 or 9:45 and it may be another 30 to 45 minutes or so by the time I leave the building. By then, I am spent. My ‘dogs are barking’ and I keep threatening to lecture barefoot to ease the pain. Still, I’m about as happy as I can be when I am there in my element. I get to share theories and then relate them to what’s going on in the world today. Every lecture has an element of ‘why you should care about this topic’ to it because I think I owe that to anyone who is patient enough to listen to me yammer on for 2.5 hours. The best part is when I see the ‘lightbulbs’ go off over the students heads and we have real, live conversation.
This week, after class, a student stopped me and told me that I was, by far, the best professor he ever had. Wow. That’s what it’s all about. If I was in there looking like ‘Sad Sack’ or just reading to them out of the textbook, I wouldn’t deserve such a comment. Now, he could have just been trying to butter me up for a good grade, but I’ll take a compliment any way I can get it. The point is this: after years of trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, I realize that I am exactly who I want to be and doing exactly what I want to do. Over time, the venue and the methods might change, but I’m happy. What about you? Are you doing what you love and loving what you do? If not, how do you get there from here?
So, it’s time to blog again. I’m looking forward to delivering the same kind of ‘value’ here that I try to offer my students on Monday nights. There is so much going on in the financial markets and I’m distressed by the number of folks who just ‘don’t get it’ and the negative effect that their ignorance has on them. I know that I can’t save or educate the world, but why not try?
Here’s the plan, my hope is to post 2-3 times per week (instead of seven) with the simple goal of demistifying the financial markets and current events. I’ve noticed that when I write about things related to topics we cover in class, my students tend to appreciate it — and the non-students get a free finance lesson. It gives the students a little more insight into topics that are new to them and lets the non-students get the benefit of the ideas without the stale lecture. As I told my students this week, that’s the value that I add (or at least hope to).
At any rate, it’s great to be back. By posting less, I intend to stay on topic more. I’m even keeping a journal now so that the world doesn’t need to be inundated with the minutia of my everyday life!