Have you ever checked out Yahoo’s Second Act stories? It is a webby-award winning, growing collection of short (5 minute) video stories, chronicling the reinvention of everyday people, through passion and purpose.
I don’t watch much TV, but I do eagerly await the newest installment of “Second Act” stories. There are about 150 of them (so far) and I have watched every single one.
I love these videos because they reveal what is possible when people follow their heart – when ordinary citizens buck conventional wisdom and take up their deepest interests purely for the purpose of being true to themselves. These folks don’t care about what other people think or whether it will make lots of money. They do stuff for the love of doing it. And, many times in the process, they end up making good money and having a very satisfying and fulfilling career.
One of my favorite stories is about Roderick Romero. He is a 46 year old tree nest designer and builder. In 1997 a women invited him to be part of a 100 acre art show. Although he was in a band at the time, on a whim, he said he would build her a nest. “The words just floated out of my mouth, but what was I talking about?” He had never built a tree-house before. 9 months later he was building a nest for the art show.
And from there things grew “naturally”. Soon he was building a couple of tree houses a year. “One thing morphed into another” and “all of a sudden he had a career before he had a thought that he needed to have a career.” Wouldn’t it be nice if all professional decisions happened that way? Through word of mouth he was soon building tree nests for the likes of Sting, Val Kilmer and Julianne Moore. Now he’s on Yahoo.
“I’m still doing it for the love”, he says. “It is for the joy I get out of the experience and the stories I gather from the kids and how the adults become kids again when they get up in the tree house….that’s like, c’mon that’s precious.”
What started out as a random thought, evolved into a unique and beautiful craft. With patience and commitment, Roderick turned a hobby into an envious career and life-long passion.
Can you find a better feel-good story?
Whether you are fresh out of school, an entrepreneur or a seasoned business executive, it is easy to get caught up in style points. As we launch or build our careers, we often put a higher value on what others will think, how it will look on the resume or how much money it will pay. Do we give enough thought to the most important questions, the most critical pre-requisites to having a truly satisfying and successful livelihood – does it ignite my passion, do I love doing it and does it give me a sense of purpose?
I spent the first 15 years of my career putting off these questions. I did not realize how enriching a job could be if I took time (even for just 15 minutes a day) to feed the callings of my soul. The beauty of the Vitality videos is they teach us that it is never too late to reinvent, rediscover and re-launch who we are meant to be.
Vikas Narula (@NarulaTweets) is Creator and Co-Founder of Keyhubs (@Keyhubs) – a software and services company specializing in workplace social analytics. He is also Founder of Neighborhood Forest – a social venture dedicated to giving free trees to kids every Earth Day.
Image Courtesy of www.romerostudios.com