"Know your Ruling Star. One man is better received by one nation than another, or is one welcome by one city than another. He finds more luck in one office or position than in another, and all though his qualifications are equal or even identical. Let each man know his luck as well as his talents. Follow your guiding star and help it without mistaking any other for it. Know how to transplant yourself. There are nations with whom one must cross their borders to make one's value felt." - Balthasar Gracian, (Spain, 1600's)
Have you ever felt, "Here I am, best job I ever had, good money, an excellent career move - but, what in the world am I doing here where I feel so alone and out-of-place with my surroundings? How did this happen to me?"
I've been there, because someone offered me a job and I accepted, knowing ahead-of-time, intuitively I wouldn't feel at home in the town and surroundings.
Or - maybe you love your location but, sadly, are unable to find any openings in your field. I've been there also. Looking back on my years in Austin, Texas, I can't believe the number of short-term, soul-emptying jobs I tried very hard and unsuccessfully do to. My job-duration ranged from only two hours (which was long enough when you hate what you are doing!) to several months (each day seeming like an eternity) before my opportunities in broadcasting finally came.
It's a rare person these days who is able to say, "I love this community, love my home, love the work I do, get along great with my business colleagues and supervisors. How do you beat perfection?"
There is a wonderful quote I repeated to myself many, many times during my ups and downs in Texas.
"Hence the first principle in changing one's character is to seek another environment, to let new forces play upon our unused chords, and draw from us a better music." - Will Durant
That's what I wanted! I wanted another location - another place - where new forces could play upon my unused chords and draw from me a better music.
"There are nations with whom one must cross their borders to make one's value felt." - Gracian
Yes! Yes! Yes! That's what I wanted. To cross borders and feel my native talents valued again.
"Know your Ruling Star," the Spanish priest Gracian wrote in The Art of Worldly Wisdom. "One man is better received by one nation than another, or is one welcome by one city than another. He finds more luck in one office or position than in another, and all though his qualifications are equal or even identical."
We are better received in certain locations or areas than in others, welcomed when we show up, and we most certainly do find more luck in one place than another.
"But where, where, where is THAT PLACE?" I wondered.
In Texas, for every 100% plus I gave in my career, the returns (feeling valued, appreciated, and being monetarily rewarded), always fell short.
I hosted a noon talk show for awhile at an Austin TV station. Our ratings were great. The guests I booked were top names in the literary, entertainment, self-improvement, and political arenas.
After our ratings came in one spring, I couldn't believe how well the show was doing.
Several days later, however, the General Manager wanted to see me.
After all the years of my show's success, he said, "James, I can't complain about your ratings. That's good for ad revenue, but I finally got a chance to see your show yesterday. As you know I only have a tenth grade education, never finished high school, started in sales, worked my way up to where I am today." He beamed proudly, "I didn't understand it."
I knew when he said, "I didn't understand it," my show was doomed.
The GM was the standard by which all business decisions at our stations were made.
I wanted to call him, "Idiot," but restrained myself.
My favorite line in Texas TV came from a female news director who told me, "You have a master's degree. We don't need people that smart to do the news." I never worked at that station.
"Let each man know his luck as well as his talents. Follow your guiding star and help it without mistaking any other for it. Know how to transplant yourself," Gracian reminds us.
Know how to transplant yourself!
Finally, I did transplant myself, once again. It was time to move from the newsroom and go into teaching; use, finally, that masters degree referred to earlier that wasn't needed to report the news.
"There is a simple answer to the question 'What is the purpose of our individual lives?" A.J. Ayer wrote. "They have whatever purpose we succeed in putting into them."
Yet, if you believe you are being guided by and toward a higher destiny, as I do, use what others know (their gifts and resources) to inform and enlighten yourself.
I've also successfully used relocation astrology as an essential tool to follow my guiding star. Through my sessions with Cait Benten, I'm finding, as we'd all like to do, a balance of the "right place" and the "right work" combined.
"This time, like all other times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it." --Ralph Waldo Emerson
Now, after a career as an award-winning media communicator and as a university professor, James has shared meaning-filled conversations with film stars, recording artists, US Presidents and first ladies, state governors, world-famous authors, scientists, and people from most every walk of life.
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