What if money was no object?

 When I was 5, I wanted to be an astronaut. By the time I was 6, I wanted to be a pilot.

When I was 18, I still wanted to be a pilot, but I went to study medicine instead because A) The money looked good and B) I could get into med school.

I convinced myself that I could become a “flying doctor”, thus satisfying my itch to take to the skies. After 3 years of med school I quit. It was one of the scariest things I had to do. Largely, because quitting is humiliating and I have an almost unhealthy habit of persevering. Which is why I didn’t quit it after the 1st year, when I had already lost interest.

I don’t think spending 3 years of my life studying medicine was a waste, and I did learn some valuable things about the human body, but mostly I learnt some valuable lessons about life. I always had an interest in computers & electronics, but growing up I always thought of this interest as a “hobby”, something I would do in my spare time while I “worked” doing something else.

After med school, I took a year out doing various things and was fortunate enough to get a scholarship to go back to university to study electronics and computer science at UCT. Purely because I wanted to learn about it. I didn’t even think about making money from it. In the back of my mind I knew I would find a way to do what I love (building technology) and get paid for it. I’m by no means a billionaire, but it’s worked out okay so far 🙂

Earlier this year, I quit running Skyrove, and I had to start looking again. Do I want to continue doing what I’m doing or find a new career? I looked at all the fulfilling things I did in the last 8 years and realised that some of my most enjoyable moments were in teaching, educating and mentoring young technology entrepreneurs. I have an intense interest in education and my passion for technology has not wavered. I’m doing what I love (first) and I get paid for it (second). The video below is magic. You need to watch it and think about it and dream about it and make sure your kids do so as well. Share it!

One thought on “What if money was no object?

  1. Henk, this is not only the right way to think about things, bear with me: it is our only hope for survival as a species by avoiding self-destruction. Money is an object, but only up to a point much lower than most people aim for. You can hardly blame the poorly educated for deitifying money – money has become like running water in our society. The reality of "what if" I had all the money in the world is a sketch so unimaginably unrealistic to most, it’s disturbing, let alone the fact that few people even think this far ahead. I have a proposition you need to hear, it ties into everything you probably love doing and you will probably be better at it than I’ll ever be – and enjoy it more. Simply put, it’s a plan for teaching simple concepts to kids, in a way that will siphon through to their parents – many whom are in leadership positions but have gotten so caught up in the details and admin in what they’re doing, that they’ve lost sight of the basic principles and underlying truths. No, it’s not religious, just some simple, pure common sense principles explained simpler and better. Probably not exactly the type of teaching you have in mind, but not entirely different either.

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