Thursday, December 8, 2011

Q and A Thursdays: The Tipping Point

Ask a Gentleman:
I'm a recent college grad who is saddled with student loan debt and a crappy job market. My passions don't always translate to lucrative occupations. What would a more experienced gentleman do?

Today, someday, one day it will happen. The culmination of countless hours, humble dedication and a lucky break or two will lead to that heaven-sent phone call, email or other correspondence that will lend legitimacy to your passion as more than just a hobby, but rather your true calling.

Coming down from the high of ambition mixed with gratitude you will find yourself at the proverbial fork in the road. One path is paved, well-lit, with few potholes and plenty of rest stops. Convenient stores and gas stations line the road offering quick solace if you are ever to run out of gas or need a quick pick me up. Traffic is heavy on this road with  economy cars bumper to bumper but nonetheless  it creeps at a steady 35mph.

The other road is bumpy, with only the brake lights from the adjacent road providing any illumination. Gas stations are far and few between and you can’t help but notice the abandoned cars that litter the road. As you squint to make out just how far the road leads and to where your eye catches one motorist who is actually walking. You can only guess which of the abandoned cars is his or for how long he has made this journey on foot. Til the wheels fall off isn’t a cliche for this guy. He’s on some real Ironman shit.

The few cars on this road  vary in model and year, the scarce  traffic allowing them to speed towards their unknown destination. You try and guesstimate their speed, 75 MPH maybe.  One car you’re sure is going well over 120MPH.  As you turn your attention to the well-paved road, with its steady flow of traffic and predictable rest stops you strain to get a further view down its path. As the road stretches you notice that the exit ramps begin to lengthen in distance from one another until you can no longer distinguish them from the horizon.

That call that changed everything has left you in a pecuilar position. You know that each road leads somewhere , because no road is infinite. In your minds eye you visualize the destination. You take into account your vehicle’s mileage, fuel economy, and other variables. I’ve made it this far you think and know that lightning doesn’t strike twice. Assuming you’re comfortable with gridlock traffic, cruise control and predictability then by all means take the secure road. For some of us, that phone call wasn’t just a tipping point, it was the exit ramp. The conveyor belt that we all find ourselves on has few opportunities to step off. This may be one of them or it may be the only one. Which will you choose?

Best of luck Steve.

Be sure to send your questions to or @GentLife on Twitter.

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