leaves.jpgAs far back as I can remember I've wanted to make a difference in people's lives. When I was 3 years old, I told my parents I was going to be a firefighter so I could “make people's houses not burn down.” Around 10 I decided I wanted to be a doctor so I could help sick kids. By the time I was on my way to college, I was set on being a surgeon.

Boy does life have a funny way of turning out.

I made it to medical school. My freshman year at Purdue opened my eyes to the wonders of alternative medicine and I was off on a new direction. Two years at university were enough for me. So I set out to learn everything I could about alternative ways of healing.

What followed was an amazing ten year adventure that ultimately opened my eyes to the wonders of our own bodies. At the same time I got to study all sorts of healing modalities – some very profound, others a bit of quackery.

Yet through much of my studies I was supporting myself as a website developer. Until finally, one day, I felt I had enough knowledge to hang out my shingle as an alternative healing practitioner. It was great, in the beginning. I used all that I had learned to help people overcome all sorts of ailments – some physical, others emotional or mental, and even some that were more spiritual in nature.

Yet, for some reason, it just wasn’t a good fit. It wasn’t until I closed my practice that I realized that healing, at least in a formal setting, more medical setting, just wasn’t in my heart. So, having gotten married and expecting our first daughter, I returned to web design full time. The secret, though, is that I never really stopped building websites – even when I was working with clients in my healing practice.

The next year or so had its joys, its challenges, its hurdles – and its moments of profound growth.

So one day I was sitting back waiting for a client to phone when I began thinking of my journey. I thought, “How did a kid who wanted to be a doctor to help people end up being a web designer and business developer?”

But when I thought about it, the answer was simple…I followed the signs.

That’s right. There were signs all along the way. I just had to learn how to read them. And while it may seem odd that I’d compare being a doctor to what I do now, I easily see the path I’ve chosen as the right one.

Think about it. If I’d finished at the university and gone off to medical school to become a surgeon, I would have never had the life I had in my twenties – backpacking, mountaineering, kayaking – for months at a time. I also wouldn’t have had the freedom to learn so much about how the body heals naturally, with foods and herbs and how our emotional, mental and, to some degree, spiritual states play enormous roles in our health, vitality and the quality of life. The 18 year-old boy who went to Purdue had no idea of that. But the man, 20 years later, sees life, health, family, and business with a sense of oneness – how every piece of life works together like a orchestra, playing the symphony of our life.

And, if I’d gone to medical school, it’s unlikely I’d be here today, writing this blog post on a system I’d likely know little about. What’s more, I’d not have the opportunity I do now to affect countless people, in every part of the globe, with little conversations that can help them in some way. But now I do.

Just like with every turn in my life, I’d never have guessed where I was going. Yet I do trust, with great faith, the next step. And while I can’t see with any clarity where it will lead me, I do know it’ll be an adventure. And I know I’d not be true to myself without striding out to explore where the path leads.

Charles Darwin once wrote, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

For me change is inevitable. After struggling with it early in life, I now embrace it. I know it’s the only thing that’s true constant in my outer life. And I know it’s something I can’t control. What I can have some say over is how I respond to the changes life puts before me.

What about you? How well do you handle change? In your life? In your relationships? In your business? Let’s talk about it and maybe learn something from each other.

(note: image Melting Pot from Lorrie McClanahan on Flickr)

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Highly commendable. You’ve had a roller coaster ride for your career. But it needs a big heart to leave a stable and more acceptable career and make websites. Great stuff !!!

  2. Change in jobs, careers and even the country I call home never came hard for me. This is maybe because I was always searching for something I felt missing in my life. The break up of my 20 year relationship/marriage was far from easy. Subsequent to this came the changes I had always needed – in relationship, career and lifestyle. Life took control of me – if I had tried to stay in charge I would not have reached the happy state I find myself in now. The biggest change because of all this has been in my attitude to life.

  3. I still remember that moment in my mid-twenties when the realization struck me…I didn’t have to know what was around the next bend to know I was on the right track. I could feel it. All I had to do was stay tuned in to that feeling. It does turn life into an adventure, doesn’t it? Best wishes on yours. 😉

  4. Having fought the winds of change several times over the course of a few careers, and losing each time, this last round was a lot easier to let myself be lifted by them and led. Recently I’ve been feeling another wind blowing through, or perhaps it is just a breeze. Definitely change is in the air. It will be interesting to see where I land. All I know is that when I “follow the directions,” usually all is well.

  5. Laser,
    Funny, I don’t see it so much as a roller coaster ride. I really see it as an adventure…a willingness to be flexible, to not know and just trust what’s in front of me.

    Sueblimely,
    I’m a firm believer that it’s not life’s experiences that cause us joy or sorrow, but rather how we choose to react to and deal with those experiences.

    Jean,
    I know what you mean. I can remember, with great clarity, the moment in the Engineering Mall at Purdue that I knew I needed to leave college. Didn’t make any sense at the time. And it was certainly the right thing for me to do.

    Carol,
    I love that…follow the directions. Has so many meanings, huh?

  6. Bob,
    I’m not so sure I know myself so well as I just keep asking questions. I think, if anything, I tend to be more pliable then most. At least until I’m not.

    And as for sticking around…personally, I’m honored and humbled by you and all the folks that spend a little time with me each day. Thank you. I’m here for you; to serve you. And I only can hope that I do it well enough to earn a bit of your time.

  7. Good read…I guess life has a way of choosing where you go and everything you learn along the way isn’t wasted…I was positive I was going to be a professional soccer player (was pretty damn good) but for some reason ended up doing other things and now I’m involved in websites as well…I think we live many lives within one but it’s great you feel happy about your life and everything going on with it.

  8. Dawud, There, you have started off what you promised before you went off on your sabbatical if it can be called that.

    Wisdom is always by hindsight. You are now showing precisely that.Everything in everybody’s life happens exactly as it did for you.

    The wise man recognizes that as the Buddha said, “Events happen, deeds are done, but there is no individual doer thereof.” He further recognizes that the sense of personal doer-ship is not a necessary condition to be able to live one’s life.

    If we learn to accept that life is a series of change, and respond to the changes as appropriate at that point of time, we live in harmony with everything. Darwin unfortunately left out “acceptance” as an element in his statement. Most of our problems stem from out inability to accept change of any type, particularly those that force us to take course correction from the direction that we have decided for ourselves.

    Your journey and your sharing it with us is all part of a pre determined drama of life and I am very glad that I am part of it. Keep them coming. From the comments above there are more of similar experiences and realization and it is all for the good.

    Thank you.

  9. Dawud I’m so excited about reading your site. My wife and I have also been stuck in the wheels of change for some time. She’s got a chronic heart condition which has only responded to alternative medicine (and then even not that much). It’s been a rollercoaster ride, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. We’re happy 95% of the time. It’s how you react to that other 5% that shows your character.

  10. As I’ve said myself, change is the only constant, so you’d better get used to it 🙂

    Change and truth are so closely linked. My way in to change was via truth: learning to get down with what was actually happening, rather than the movie about it playing in my mind.

    Once I’d really processed the truth, it became (for me) impossible *not* to change.

    In other news, that’s a helluva story! I love it when people share their weird trajectories.

  11. Matt,
    I definitely hear you. I was a pretty promising baseball prospect in my youth. Love it. Then one day I just lost the passion for playing baseball. Literally, it just left. It’s never returned. And while I love other sports (tennis, basketball, racquetball) I’ve never found a need to play baseball again.

    There was no reason I stopped. Nothing happened and I wasn’t at all one of those kids who was pushed and one day cracked. Everything I did was self-motivated by the love of baseball. But when that was gone, I had no reason to play – regardless of where it could have led.

    So life does make choices for us. But how do we handle those choices is what makes our life.

    promotional items,
    Yet I’m going to guess you have an interesting story to tell about becoming an engineer.

    Home Recording,
    I agree with you for the most part. I think one of the great mysteries to life is how much of it is predetermined and how much is choice. Or at least perceived choice. Because doesn’t choice, which is based on a time-continuum, automatically mean perspective? So while it appears we make choices every moment of every day, is that just based in where we perceive our life from? And if we raised our consciousness above our moment-to-moment existence, then wouldn’t our perspective change and perhaps we see choice under a different light?

    Either way, I think the key to navigating the waters of this life is understanding that it’s all perception…what we focus on is what is – at least in our reality – which is always subjective.

    communicatrix,
    I just love the way you look at things. It really is about being present. I don’t mean in the eccentric, new-age book way. I mean, putting both feet on the ground and really being where we are – knowing the reality, at least from our perspective, of what is…for us. That’s the place to begin – with being ‘real.’

  12. Change is something that as much as we would like to accept, there is some resistance at a subconscious level. Its all about overcoming that resistance with a strong will power. Change in business and personal life, if for the better is always welcome. But its during the hard times when we tend to lose hope and resist and look for things to put the blame on. Its commendable what you have achieved. I am a strong believer in naturopathy and believe the body can heal itself. You just need to help it and give it the right conditions. What alternative forms of healign have you learned?

  13. I’ve made a lot of what I call “abrupt right turns” in my life. Ones where I think I’m going in one direction, and life leads me in another. Everyone of them has improved my life. Given that viewpoint, it’s hard to hate change.

  14. From the comments made it makes my case even stronger that we really have little to do with what happens with our lives. If we learn to accept whatever happens and understand that a cosmic law is working, we can live tension free and fruitful lives.

  15. Dining Room,
    I think change just is. There’s little more to say about it other than how we choose to accept it. And that, my friend, is where the conversation gets interesting.

    As for healing…too much to share right now. And let’s just say that I know, even from science, that it’s the body that heals not the procedures or drugs. They just help it along or make our life more manageable while our bodies heal. But this body we’ve been given is the most miraculous thing ever created. I could go on…

    Cory,
    It’s my pleasure. I’m excited that you’re excited. All I want to do is create conversation that inspires and helps people…that can build relationships that can be mutually beneficial.

    If you’d like, you and your wife are welcome to share more about her dis-ease – I may know something that will help. Now I don’t practice any longer so I can’t get involved in her care, but I may know of something.

    Joann,
    It is, isn’t it? Is there anything you do to help cope with change?

    Living Room,
    That’s my experience as well. I think many of us in the west want an easy life, full of certainty and perceived comfort. Of course comfort and certain come from never changing. So we fight change to stay comfortable. Yet, change is coming – no doubt about it. So why fight it?

    Home Recording,
    Yeah, I agree. And yet I still think it depends on perspective. How we look at the events in our lives, in other words, how we judge them, is what determines how we experience them.

    I also believe that a life without challenges, with a bit of tension, is not one that’s fully engaged. I’m not at all suggesting that we all need to suffer. Quite the contrary, suffering comes from wanting things different than they are. So suffering is a state – one that we can choose to change.

    But if we don’t have life’s challenges to rub up against, how do we know…how do we grow?

  16. Great Post! Very inspirational. I like the Darwin quote you provided, and I couldn’t agree more.

    I too, feel that my interests and business ventures are continuously evolving.

  17. Dawud,

    I hate change… It’s one of the biggest things I realized this year. I have known for about 9 months (maybe over a year) that I needed to change what I am doing online, but haven’t done so because I hate change. I also have known I need to change 9-5 jobs, my general lifestyle… etc. but just haven’t. I resist change until I am practically forced into it.

    At least, I am to the point where I know I need to change some things in my life… now I actually need to do so…

    Great post as always.

  18. You are so right. Even something as simple as taking a pill for a headache does not cure the problem. It simply makes us numb to it so we don’t feel it anymore. It is so essential to help the body heal itself by giving it the right conditions rather than just taking the easy way out by popping drugs. Your body can achieve miracles, just give it a chance and bear the pain for some time.

  19. You have hit the nail on the head. If we can train ourselves to be non judgmental of life’s offerings, we are off and running. You are also touching on the periphery of being subjective. The most important stage in personal growth is to be able to understand what is the subject and what is the object as far as one’s self is concerned. As the subject, as is commonly understood in grammar, I call my body, “my body”. The body therefore becomes the object, again as commonly understood in grammar. Obviously, the subject and the object cannot be the same. If that mystery is solved and the real subject is understood, you have become a sage.

  20. RJacobsen,
    Thanks. Currently, how is your business evolving?

    George,
    Remember what GI Joe says, “knowing is half the battle.” It’s just I think I have awareness about how feel about change is even more than 50% getting to change. Now, what are you going to do about it?

    Dining Room,
    Sure. I see science and medicine as having a place in our lives – but not having the final say in how we should live our lives. Aspirin is a tool – nothing more. Headaches mean something. And while none of us want to be in pain, we can use medicine to get some needed perspective to consider what might be causing out pain.

    The question is…how many of us go beyond relief to find out the cause?

    Home Recording,
    Who suffers? Isn’t that a question of who who is?

  21. I really enjoyed reading this today. I’m at a time in my life where there are a couple of “signs” appearing and I’m making plans to pursue those paths.

    Happy Holidays!

  22. This is the first time I come here and this is the first post I read. What a great post!

    I agree with you that there are signs along the way and you just have to keep your eyes open and to see/read them.

    As an employee and manager, I have worked for a couple of big manufacturing companies for quite a long time. All the signs along my way pointed at one thing – to work for myself.

    I was not sure wether to follow the signs or not but finally I did it. Two years passed since then – two great years in my life as an entrepreneur and consultant.

    In case one sees too many signs, he must go for them, otherwise he risks to pass them away forever.

  23. Deaf Mom,
    Happy hiking. Just remember to enjoy the journey.

    Alex,
    True. That’s why I keep searching; asking; seeking answers. And it’s true, the more we know, the less we understand.

    Todor,
    Thanks…and welcome. I’ve often defined living as being as fully engaged in life’s individual moments as I can. Otherwise, I have to ask myself, “am I really alive?”

    Al,
    Thank you so much. And Happy Holidays to you (sorry, missed Christmas on my blog).

  24. Great post –

    Very interesting actually. I am currently struggling with my life direction as I climb the corporate world trapped in an artist’s mind and body. You touched on some important topics that I have forgotten – signs, change, etc.
    Good to remember to be flexible with change. Thank you!!

  25. David,
    Being flexible with change is one of the core wisdoms I’ve learned, hopefully, in my life. Change happens – that’s just a fact of life. But how we handle change is what decides the quality of our life.

  26. Change happened for me late in life. I was married at 34 and until then had lived a relaxed life.. mainly sponging from my Mother and Father. I met my future wife and within 6 months we were married. 4 weeks after the wedding our first child was expected ! Sometimes now I sill think ‘how did I get here ?’ And I must admit it took a long while to get rid of my selfish habits. I think being flexible and accepting change is the key.

  27. Hey Dawud you’ve had some great experiences in your life. But I like your attitude of always wanting to help people. Very few in this world really think this way. To become a firefighter so that other people’s houses don’t burn is such a beautiful thought.

  28. Hi Dawud,

    Nice article. It’s a long journey for most of us to embrace change and respect the day to day, moment by moment mystery that surrounds and pervades us.

    Wish you well, Dawud.

    MJ

  29. I think we all handle change differently, some in a good way and others in a bad way. I would say I handle it looking at it positively, no matter how bad it is you always have to look at the positive side of things. Things happen for a reason. Whether you want to be doctor and end up as a website developer, always look at the positive side of things, it makes your life easier.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Check it out! While looking through the blogosphere we stumbled on an interesting post today.Here’s a quick excerpt As far back as I can remember I’ve wanted to make a difference in people’s lives. When I was 3 years old, I told my parents I was going to be a firefighter so I could “make people’s houses not burn down.” Around 10 I decided I wanted to be a doctor so I could help sick kids. By the time I was on my way to college, I was set on being a surgeon. Boy does life have a funny way of turning out. I made it to medical school. My freshman year at Purdue opened my eyes to the wonders of alternative med […]

  2. WARNING: Google’s GMail security failure leaves my business sabotaged :: David Airey :: Graphic and Logo Designer says:

    […] to those of you who kindly emailed me at the start of this situation: Vivien, Ben, Tammy, Armen, Dawud, Ed and Jamie. I know that more of you tried, but that I didn’t receive your emails because […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

css.php