Head Vs. Heart

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by bmwderek, Feb 5, 2006.

  1. bmwderek

    bmwderek Rookie

    Feb 10, 2005
    Since this board is one of the few that has sucessful members (as opposed to losers who hide behind their online persona), I figured I'd ask this here.

    I'm going to university next year, to study journalism. People tell me I have a gift for writing, I think I'm a better than average writer and I enjoy it. I'd be happy to do journalism if it weren't for the money. As much as people say money isn't everything, I like nice things, namely cars (and to a certain extent, watches, suits etc.). It isn't blind materialism. Just as I appreciate the intricacies and craftsmanship that goes into making the honeycomb monocque on an F40, I appreciate a tourbillon watch or a handmade Saville Row suit. On a journalists salary, I'll never afford any of this.

    I also happen to have a talent for arguing. My dad is a lawyer, and he's shown me the ropes to a certain degree(for a while I wanted to be a lawyer)and I think I could handle myself, but ultimately I'd be bored and unfulfilled. Of course, I could afford some of the nice material things.

    So my question is: How many of you have been faced by this dilema? What did you choose; money or happiness. How has it turned out.

    I realize if I invest smart, I could make a killing, but I don't even know where to begin.
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  3. amenasce

    amenasce Two Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 17, 2001
    Full Name:
    Joe Mansion
    What about becoming a writer ? Some of those guys sell millions of books .
  4. jungathart

    jungathart Guest

    Jun 11, 2004
    NoVA, AmeriKa
    Full Name:
    Komrade Jung
    A financially stable job could serve as your income base from which you can launch yourself into things which you truly have a love for.
    Although I am a physician and am good at what I do, my passions are outside of medicine.
    This is the road I have chosen to take. May your decision be the right one for yourself as well. :)
  5. MS250

    MS250 Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 10, 2003
    Full Name:
    Though alot of money may bring you happiness, dont count on it.

    But my dad always said its better to be rich and miserable than poor and miserable.

    I think if I had to do it again, I would search for the happiness first. its very easy to say that now, since I went the other route.

    Tough call, your gonna have to work that one out on your own as time progresses, everyone is different. Im sure the answer will show itself to you when you need to make the hard choices.

    It all works out in the end.
  6. jimwalking

    jimwalking Formula Junior

    Jan 3, 2006
    Tom Brokav seems to have done ok, Dan Rather too.

    Bottom rung people in any career field struggle and cream of the crop in any field do well. There are plumbers doing better than their attorneys.

    The best life advice I can give is to learn to live below your means for at least a decade after graduation and invest the surplus. If you can accumulate a $200,000 nest egg and return 10% a year, you have an extra $20,000 coming in. Assuming the current capital gains tax structure, it would be like you annual paycheck being $35,000 higher.

    Also, most of us have to pick and choose our luxuries. My daily driver is a $300/month lease, not a $80,000 Benz. We eat out very infrequently and "out" = Olive Garden, TGI Fridays, etc.

    I think F-40 is out of the range for most sensible people. You'd have to earn $3,000,000+ year to justify such a purchase IMO.
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  8. matteo

    matteo F1 World Champ

    Aug 1, 2002
    On a plane somewhere
    Full Name:
    Heir Butt
    Why not be an automotive writer?

    Mix your passions.
  9. bmwderek

    bmwderek Rookie

    Feb 10, 2005
    I realize about the F40, just used it as an example of a fine piece of machinery.
  10. boffin218

    boffin218 Formula Junior

    Oct 8, 2005
    Full Name:
    This seems to be one of the more popular other off topic subjects.

    The good news, Derek, is that you're entering precisely the place to see how you feel about things like law and journalism and whatnot. Try being a journalist, on the school paper, as a summer job/internship, etc, and see how you like it. Try writing in a writing course and see what the university's writing center has to offer. Try law in undergrad courses in legal studies (or some other such thing) and see what the undergrad pre-law students/pre-law counselors say. Give these and other things a chance and you'll know better four years from now what you love and what you'll tolerate. The choice may be easier than you think.
  11. jimwalking

    jimwalking Formula Junior

    Jan 3, 2006
    One thought is to get your BS in journalism. The key to getting into law schools is good grades. How difficult is jouralism as major compared to engineering or chemistry? If you hate journalism after a year in the field, apply to law schools. You can apply to law schools with any BS, there is no such thing as pre-law.
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  13. boffin218

    boffin218 Formula Junior

    Oct 8, 2005
    Full Name:

    Don't forget the LSAT - it's a _large_ part of where you go to law school. Bigger even than grades.
  14. bmwderek

    bmwderek Rookie

    Feb 10, 2005

    That's my first choice...I am pretty much guarenteed to be entering a journalism program. That way I have a fallback if I decide against law school/if I don't get in.

    I don't know about other people but I can get A's on anything I write, but I can barely do any math beyond long-division so engineering and chemistry are out of my league.

    My main goal as a journalist would be to start a North America show in the same vein as Top Gear. We have some great magazines, but who the **** watches Car and Driver TV. And yes, I know there is Top Gear U.S.A. now, but come on, it won't be the same.
  15. SRT Mike

    SRT Mike Two Time F1 World Champ

    Oct 31, 2003
    Full Name:
    Raymond Luxury Yacht
    happiness > money

  16. Steve R

    Steve R F1 Rookie

    Sep 15, 2004
    MeSoNeedy, CA
    Full Name:
    TorQ Master
    Ask yourself what Homer Simpson would do....and then do the opposite ;)

    I haven't met too many lawyers who are happy or satisfied with their work. I think/suspect they proclaim that in mass just to disuade others from entering into their who knows. I've met a lot of former lawyers pursuing new really have to love it and get connected or set-up your own firm to find the big money.

    Thought gems:

    Good careers are like the fast-lane on a freeway...everybody flocks to it until it's no better then the surrounding lane.

    The majority of people who today make HUGE money did not start their careers ever imagining they'd one day make that kind of money.

    After getting off the phone with someone, NEVER say aloud "assh0le" or "bit(h" cause you'll sooner or later have clicked speakerphone or not hung-up and they'll hear ya!

    Sometimes it's about doing something brilliant once, but more often it's about consistently being above average and keeping your nose to the grindstone.
  17. ylshih

    ylshih Global Moderator
    Global Moderator Advising Moderator Honorary Owner

    Mar 21, 2004
    Northern CA
    Full Name:
    Happiness is more important than money. If you choose a career just to make a lot of money, the money will be spent on things to find the happiness you gave up. That's just a round-a-bout way of getting what you wanted in the first place, so you might as well just go for the happiness to begin with. YOU DO NOT NEED TOURBILLONS OR FERRARIS TO BE HAPPY. If you think you do, you will never be happy anyway.

    High income careers increase the chance of your making "big" money, but they don't guarantee it. Lots of doctors and lawyers just have a nice upper middle class income and lifestyle. The cream of any profession generally gets to make big money, but as a percentage perhaps a few more doctors/lawyers are the cream than perhaps journalists or writers (there are still Dan Rather, Ted Koppel, J.K. Rowling, etc). But the cream doesn't get there unless they LOVE what they do and are willing and wanting to do it for 80-100 hours a week. If you hate what you do but try to put in 80-100 hours a week doing it, you won't last long.

    Forget about being "smart in investing" unless you want to start a second career, are talented at it and love it. Investing is a full-time job if you want to be any good.

    BTW -
  18. RMV

    RMV F1 Veteran

    Apr 11, 2002

    Very good advice.
  19. indaville

    indaville Formula 3

    Oct 6, 2005
    Louisville, KY
    Do what makes you happy and if you are enterprising you will find a way to make a lot of money with it.
  20. BimmerCzech

    BimmerCzech Rookie

    Jul 20, 2005
    You're not asking about "money vs. happiness". Happiness is THE ultimate end (indisputably :-D), and this question is about whether money or an enjoyable job is more likely to bring you to the higher level of happiness. One thing to consider is the fact that when people choose to do for a living what they enjoy doing in their spare time, it sometimes causes them to like that activity less, upon HAVING to do it. Of course, this isn't universally true, as there are lots of people that really enjoy their jobs. Anyway, I would recommend looking into things that you still like, albeit a bit less, but would make you more money, and finding a compromise.
  21. LMP234

    LMP234 Formula 3

    May 8, 2004
    Full Name:
    The Automotive Writer is a great idea. I'm sure its a tough field to get into as I can only imagine how many people would give their left nut to test drive some of the latest and greatest cars, write reviews about them, and get paid for it. But if you enjoy writing enough I'm sure you could.

    Also, why not take a few Pre-Law courses in College to see if you enjoy it? It could turn out to be your bag!

    And even if your a writer you could always have a small business on the side (a little later in your career) that you could use for 'fun' purchases as opposed to just paying the bills.

    Either way I know theres a number of journalists and lawyers on these forums who could chime in to help in whichever path you choose.

    Best of luck!
  22. Gilles27

    Gilles27 F1 World Champ

    Mar 16, 2002
    Full Name:
    When I went to college I always followed my heart in the pursuit of head.
  23. LMP234

    LMP234 Formula 3

    May 8, 2004
    Full Name:
  24. bst1

    bst1 Formula 3

    Aug 13, 2005
    Full Name:
    Journalism degree, Law School, then become a novelist like Scott Turow and John Grisham. Can't beat a steady job income while writing the next great novel.

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