Mr. Rodgers slammed his car door, walked briskly into his home with a stern look on his face. He shut the door so hard his wife and kids thought someone had broken into the house to attack them.
“You have to stop coming into the house like this. The kids are scared to death,” Mrs. Rodgers yelled at him as she ran into the living room.
“How dare you talk to me like that,” Mr. Rodgers fired back. “This is my house, and if you actually had to go to work every day and deal with the same crap I deal with, you would understand. Now get out of my face and go make dinner.”
Oh no, he didn’t! If I were to guess how the rest of the night went for Mr. Rodgers, my guess would be he made his own dinner and slept on the couch.
You see, this was the second time this week Mr. Rodgers had stormed into his own home after a long day at work. In the last few years, he has had many days like this, and it was beginning to become routine. He would have a bad day at work, come home, fight with his wife and wouldn’t even get to spend time with his three children who were dying for a little bit of his attention. His family was falling apart. If he didn’t get help quickly, his family was going to become a statistic.
Mr. Rodgers was an accountant. As a matter of fact, he was the Vice President of Accounting at one of the world’s most renowned companies. He didn’t necessarily like numbers, but he was good at it. Since it came easy to him, he decided to study accounting in college. After graduation, he got a job as a controller and worked his way up the ladder. He was making well over six figures, had a nice house, a plethora of cars and could afford the most lavish vacations.
So why all the outbursts? Why was his family on the brink of destruction? Well, Mr. Rodgers wasn’t passionate about accounting. Many would argue that he just worked hard because the money was good. His wife didn’t have to work, his children went to the best schools, and they lived a comfortable life. But Mr. Rodgers wasn’t happy. He was miserable. He always came home stressed. There was nothing about his job that excited him about waking up each morning, but he did it because it allowed him to put food on the table.
The most recent outburst with his wife was so bad she insisted he get help. Rodgers obliged. At this point, he wanted to try anything. He was smart enough to understand he was losing his family.
Mr. Rodgers booked an appointment with a therapist. The first question the therapist asked Rodgers was what he enjoyed doing. What could he do forever if money wasn’t an issue. After a long conversation, the agreement the therapist made with Rodgers was that whenever he had a bad day at work, instead of coming home angry, he would go do that thing he said he was passionate about. That thing he could do forever if he didn’t have to worry about money.
Lo and behold, the Friday following his therapy session, Mr. Rodgers had a terrible day at the office. It was that time of the year when the company was getting audited, and as many accountants and controllers would agree, it’s probably the most stressful time of the year. Rodgers was stressed and ready to blow up. He was ready to storm into his home and take his frustration out on his family…again. But he remembered his agreement with the therapist.
Instead of storming into his home, he went in calmly, told his wife he needed to clear his mind, packed a bag and went camping. Rodgers loved nature and animals. He loved being around wildlife, farm animals and just nature in general. Mr. Rodgers had told his therapist that if he could do anything without money being an issue, he would take care of animals and pretty much spend most of his time surrounded by nature. So his deal with the therapist was for him to go camping alone the next time he had a bad day.
Rodgers did, and it worked like magic. He spent Friday night camping and came back Saturday morning a new man. Who knew a night in the woods could change a man's life completely? It was as if nothing had happened the day before. He spent the rest of the weekend with his wife and kids, and if I tell you they had a blast, believe me, they had a grand ol’ time. The most fun they have had in years.
Rodgers had found what he was passionate about, but the reality was he was the VP of Accounting at a big company making BANK! There was no way he was leaving that job. But was there another option? You bet there was.
A few months later, Rodgers sold his house and bought a new house in the countryside. He had acres upon acres to do whatever he wanted. His backyard was filled with trees, plants, goats, horses, cows, ducks, chickens and many other farm animals.
Why was this important? Whenever Mr. Rodgers had a bad day, he could come home and go straight to his happy place. He was actually able to turn the work switch off and do what he was passionate about. That ability to go to work, come back home and do what he had a passion for, saved his family. Mr. Rodgers never came home cursing out his wife and kids any longer. He could come home and go clear his mind with something he enjoyed doing.
The fact of the matter is, many of us are like Mr. Rodgers. We have a job that pays the bills, but isn’t necessarily our dream profession. Not everyone can have his or her dream job. It doesn’t always happen like that. But there’s something you can do to get that same fulfillment. Yes, you can work towards that dream profession, but Just like Mr. Rodgers, you can also find that thing you are passionate about and make it a hobby. Find something you can do outside of work that gives you that joy and excitement you yearn for. It’s an option we all have if finding a dream job isn’t viable. If you enjoy writing but don’t get to do much writing at work, why don’t you start your own blog? Come home after a long day and just pick up that notebook and write. There’s something about pen touching paper that calms the nerves. Do you enjoy working with kids but don’t get that opportunity with your job? Why don’t you volunteer at your local church and help with Sunday School? Start a business, join a club, go teach, paint, make music. etc. If you enjoy meeting people and driving, become a part-time Uber driver.
You have options. Don’t just come home after a long day at a job that just “pays the bills” and lay down just to do it all over the next day. Find something that helps you turn that work switch off. Find what you’re passionate about and utilize it. Find your happy place. Don’t allow your talents and passions to go waste. Not everyone gets to work a job that pays the bills and gives him or her fulfillment. But we can all find that thing we do outside of work that allows us to still use our talents.
If you’re as lucky as I am working a job that gives you fulfillment and can still come home and do something you love doing, consider yourself one of the few lucky ones.
Mr. Rodgers had a long day at work. He was ready to slam his car door and explode. But as soon as he stepped out of his car and saw his backyard with all his farm animals, his horrible workday became a thing of the past. He changed out of his clothes and went out there with his wife and kids to feed the ducks. He had saved his family from falling apart. The Rodgers family lived happily ever after.