Change Is Hard, But With It Comes Opportunity
Life comes at you fast and apparently without prior notice or any warning. I never expected my life to make a complete U-turn, but it did in the summer of 2014. I lived and breathed politics during my college years. The purpose of one’s life is to make the lives of others as fair as possible. That was the reason for my entry into politics.
My sole goal was to get into politics and make a career working, managing, and perhaps eventually running for office. I loved everything about it. It was a constructive way to fuel my competitive drive.
But it didn’t last.
Change Found A Way To Derail My Planned Trajectory
In the summer of 2014 I was working in Arlington, Virginia for a Political Action Committee (essentially an organization that collects donations for the purpose of financially supporting candidates for office). It was the summer between the first and second year of graduate school. Working was a requirement and I needed it to graduate.
At first, it was great, but it quickly turned into something I didn’t want to be a part of. It wasn’t the organizational structure or the message. The problem was with the people in the organisation. Well, not everyone. I did enjoy my company with a few.
However, the ones I worked closely with I couldn’t stand. They made me feel small and it really turned me off. It was relentless every single day I was there.
I just wanted the summer to end.
It Challenged Me In So Many Ways
Due to the nature of the work and since people in politics all know each other, I had to essentially keep silent with my displeasure and irritation.
I still wanted a life in politics, so it wasn’t an option for me to just leave and lash out. I had to find all the discipline in the world to just work. The lowest point came when a new face arrived at the scene. I’m not sure what his problem was, but he went out of his way to make me feel like an idiot.
To this day I still want to strangle him for the way he talked down to me every day.
I had gotten used to some of the people there and then he arrived halfway through to push me down the ladder of contentment. Needless to say, politics was looking less and less appealing to me. But I dedicated six years and my entire college studies to a life in politics. It was becoming clear I might have wasted all that time.
I Had To Make A Serious Change
During my off hours and on weekends, there was a small lake with a forested dirt path near where I was living. I would walk that path every evening to just think and clear my mind from the stress of the day. I still wanted to be involved in politics, but I didn’t want to associate myself with people like that. And trust me, it became clear that there were a lot of people like that in politics.
One evening while I was getting ready to go for a walk, I saw a book about Warren Buffett on a nearby shelf. I didn’t know much about Warren Buffett. I even thought he avoided investing in the stock market for some reason. All I knew was that he was rich.
But I was curious, so I opened the book and started reading. It was a recent biography of his, The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder.
I lost track of time as I read page after page. I didn’t even leave the room.
That’s when I fell in love with investing.
The next evening, I downloaded the audiobook off Audible and went for my evening walk while listening to Warren Buffett’s biography.
I forgot all about politics and my work days were spent reading about investing. I would do my work in the morning and spend the rest of the time learning how to make money through the stock market. I immersed myself and the days went by quicker. Although the harassment and annoyance continued at work, I stopped caring as much anymore.
The months went by and all that remaining time was spent learning strategies. I even opened a brokerage account and used the money I’ve saved up to start investing. I made some money and I lost some money. It didn’t matter. All that mattered was that I was learning something new.
Carving A New Path For Myself
I wouldn’t say I wasted six years of my life in politics. I still follow the news and stay in touch with some of the people I’ve met along my political journey. The difficulty came about in starting over by choosing a different path forward.
Although it’s been four years since I changed course, I still have a lot to learn through investing and personal finance. This all culminated when I started my blog to teach people how to live their best lives through prudent financial planning and through constructive habits. I also do incorporate some politics into it, but there are other ways to help people aside from getting them to vote.
I’m happy I made a change. The experience I went through may have been just a one-off thing, but it really soured upon continuing to do what I thought I loved. Investing and personal finance is like politics in some ways, I can still help people. However, investing and personal finance covers a more practical area of life.
It deals with money, and the last time I checked, you still need to pay taxes, pay for meals, and pay off loans.
That’s my change. And I think it was for the better.
Kyle Colman is an entrepreneur and an investor.
He started his blog, KyleColman.com, as a way to teach people how to live the best they can through prudent financial planning, proper investing, and daily constructive habits. Kyle publishes daily.
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