The path of contentment is a green road. It�s a way of living in harmony with an ever-changing world rather than subsisting in a safe place where nothing changes. It�s an opportunity to find joy in the process rather than a product. We can keep our nose on the grindstone and work toward goals like getting a good job and making lots of money, but unless we enjoy the process we will soon lose our noses. Theirs never a guarantee that we'll be compensated for the work we do. We can lose a job and we can lose money, but if these are the only things that motivate us we�ll soon lose our motivation. There is nothing wrong with money, but when there is no money available how does an artist or scientist keep going? Thomas Edison discovered a thousand things that don�t work before he found one thing that did. If Tom relied only on external rewards he would have soon lost interest in the mystery of the burnt out filament and we may still be living in the dark. Curiosity can be a strong motivator.


Burnt out brains is more of a problem than burnt out filaments because burnt out brains are harder to fix. Today we have CFL and LED lighting and tomorrow we may learn to rely on phosphorescent lumination, but we if have burnt out brains we�ll never enjoy the fruits of our labor. Mike has a burnt out brain. He became dependent on the security of a weekly paycheck to find his self-esteem. Property taxes, food payments, cable payments, cell-phone payments and mortgage payments made it difficult for Mike to face the day. He would bolt out his back door and hide under my azalea bush whenever the mailman makes his rounds. Of course the azalea bush won�t protect Mike from the bill collectors, but it seems to help him feel in control of the situation so I let him hide there. Mike works at the Maytag factory as a skilled mechanic, but his company is in the process of downsizing and Mike�s job is being replaced with a machine. According to Mike� Life is hard and then you die.� Mike is not a happy camper and he has given up on the �American Dream�

Will Mike keep the foreclosures sign off his front lawn?
Will Mike find peace of mind at his new job?
Will Mike find a place to fit in?
Will money solve Mike�s problems and bring him happiness or will he continue to hide under my azalea bush?

 Money is important, but there are some things that money can't buy.  We all have a basic human need to fit in and find a place for ourselves. These needs go beyond the requirements of healthy food and clean water, and clean air and a clean shelter. We need to feel needed. When we�re rewarded for the work we do we feel like a valuable member of society and our self-esteem is given a boost, but when we feel used and taken advantage of our self-esteem is deflated and our motivation to be creative is thwarted. Their are long range and short-range solutions to problems, but you'll need a quick fix to get you out of this hole. 


High praise kept me motivated for a while when I worked for a defense contractor on Long Island. Expecting financial compensation, I remained with the company for years, but eventually my motivation faded as I realized the nature of the dead end job with empty promises. Praise is an important part of the workplace ethic but empty praise with empty promises don�t last long. I decided the only employer who I could truly depend on was myself so I switched professions to become self-employed. The phone started ringing and I was soon earning a living as a handy man. The list of satisfied customers started growing and I decided to get my home improvement license and invest in a cargo van to carry tools. I did this for over 10 years until one day I had a serious accident and lost my license. My self-esteem at that time took a nosedive and I became apprehensive and apathetic like Mike and often shared a space with him under the azalea bush. To remedy my problem I had to find a new occupation that would use of both my skills and my passions.

The national unemployment rate is hovering around 10% and the actual number of people looking for work is over 20% so finding a job may be difficult, but I have faith in you. As a matter of fact I have so much faith in you that I don�t want you to settle for just any job. If you do that you�ll be back in the same boat you�re in now and you�ll be hiding with Mike under my azalea bush. You need the confidence and self-esteem to feel in control of your life. If I say you�re important and talented and you deserve better will you believe me? I don�t think so. True confidence comes from within. Don�t be misled by external high praise. 

Perception of progress is easy to see on physical projects like building a house or painting a room, but home improvement was off the table for me. I always wanted to build a solar hot water system so I did. I couldn�t install the system because I didn�t have a license but I could sell information on building and installing the system. �How_to Build a Solar Hot water System� was a hit. After one month of advertising on my newly created website I sold my first copy. Since that time I�ve sold over two thousand copies and I�ve written five more books. I am the founder of the yahoo solar thermal energy group with 2,224 members, have a website with 72 pages and have uploaded over 70 instructional videos on youtube. By printing and selling my own book I developed a perception of progress needed to continue writing. You may not become a millionaire by working for yourself, but then again you may.


Becoming a millionaire is a little different than finding a job. According to Steve Martin it�s a two-step process. First you�ll have to get a million dollars and then you become a millionaire. The first step in this two-step process difficult. Everyone starts from a different place but all small green paths lead to one large green road that will take you home. If you are lost in the jungle of media hype and sales promotions you may have difficulty finding will yourself before setting out on the adventure of a lifetime. Stockbrokers have the perfect stock, car salesman have the perfect car and Duncan Doughnuts has perfect doughnut. What do you have? Finding yourself takes time so it�s important to begin the self-discovery process as soon as possible. Strong Campbel test can help you discover who you are. It�s available at many employment agencies and it could help you focus on an appropriate profession, but there is another simple teat that Julialia-Cameron came up with that will help you today. Once you find yourself the money will come.


The Julia Cameron's test is a simple alternative to the Strong Campbell test that you can take right now. Julia as you may know is the author of �The Artist Way�. If you answer her questions honestly you�ll discover who you are and who you can become. You�ll also discover the people you�ll be able to help and be able to start your trek on the green road right away. A few adjustments may be needed to accommodate your profile so don�t think the questions to death. You can always make adjustments once you�re on the green road. Here are eight questions designed to put you on a  sustainable_path. 

1. Who do you dream of becoming?
2. Who are your heroes?
3. What interests were encouraged in childhood?
4.What interests were discouraged in childhood?
5. Who was the teacher who helped you the most?
6. Which childhood friend helped you develop your gifts?
7. If you had a second chance what skills would you develop?
8. What must you do today to become the person you want to be?



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