It's great having a safety net. If something happens to go wrong and you slip and fall, it's there to catch you and save your life.
Most parents' feel it's their job to ensure you have a safety net. I know my parents did. When I went to college, they encouraged me to pursue a degree that virtually ensures that I'll always have a job option available. I got a degree in Computer Engineering.
A lot of parents are thrilled when their children get college degrees. They now have a safety net of sorts since many jobs require a college diploma. My parents wanted a little sturdier safety net by encouraging me to get a degree in something that happens to pay pretty well and have an economic need in the foreseeable future. I'm not so sure they would've been thrilled to see me pursue a public communications degree. That's not to say it's a bad degree, but realistically the job options and pay-grade make having a BS in Public Communications a somewhat janky safety net.
I've since realized that dislike computer programming and am uninterested in engineering in general :) In fact, I would love to be a successful public speaker!
HOWEVER, I am glad I didn't major in public speaking. It's something I'm already pretty good at so I wouldn't have learned as much, plus being an engineer motivated me to pursue other interests and eventually abandon the 9-5 "rat-race." In the meantime though, my safety net is paying me pretty well :)
This weekend, after reading This Article about pursuing your passions, I began feeling proud of myself for taking initiative and responsibility for everything that's happening in my life. I've got about four other projects going on right now that consume a lot of my time, but I enjoy working on them and they could pay off pretty big in the future. (I'll talk more about these later!)
The thing is, too many people are content living their lives simply laying on their safety net! If I diligently worked Monday - Friday as an engineer day in and day out, came home, watched TV, surfed the net, and went to bed, I'd probably be pretty much the same as most middle class people in the world: Content with being entrenched in the rat-race and unmotivated to do anything to get out of it.
I was chatting with a coworker recently, and he was mentioning how he doesn't foresee retirement from engineering anytime soon (he's almost 50) because he hasn't accumulated the money he needs yet to accommodate his current lifestyle in retirement. Despite having other passions outside of work, I can't understand why he isn't driven to figure out a way to expand his life beyond the rat-race!
He, like almost everyone else, is perfectly content with lying on their safety-net until they're old and grey.
I'm not passionate about engineering, but I know it's a great safety net that keeps me well above ground as I try and climb to something greater. If I slip on the way up, my safety net will still be there to catch me and keep me safe.
When I wake up on a gorgeous Monday morning like today, I feel that much more motivated to work hard on lifting myself off of my safety net to a place where I'm living comfortably financially, and thoroughly enjoying my labor.
If I had to describe my situation right now, I'd say standing on my safety net, building a ladder to the catwalk above :)