The HeliOS Project is now.....

The HeliOS Project is now.....
Same mission, same folks...just a different name

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Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Inner Chime...

You won't find this published anywhere but here.  Not by my effort anyway.

Fact is, this is being written for the consumption of only two people.  After writing this as an email, I re-read it and realized that many things I say might have an impact on others...or not.

Although it isn't meant for them.

Recently, there was a mini "intervention" held in my "best interest".  I was assured that it was being done in love and concern for my well-being.

I was told it was time to re-evaluate the priorities in my life....that I should look at my life within the bigger frame and not from the strict paradigm established now. 

It's been just over a year that I turned down a position at Google, and that upset some close to me.  It was a good job, as jobs go for tech.  It was a job that 20-somethings would consider their dream job.  Great money, fantastic environment and a level of autonomy not often found in our world.  And let's face it...getting a job offer like this after the age of 50 is by most accounts, a gift.

I think the problem my captors had wasn't only that I rejected the offer, but at the speed I did so.

It didn't take long for me to say no.

I didn't "fall into" The HeliOS Project.  Doing what I do has been a slow, methodically-planned thing.  And at the risk of sounding completely hokey, what I do isn't really a job...

It's a calling.

Not necessarily in a spiritual way, although I won't discount the possibility.  Doing what I do is simply a matter of seeing something that needs to be done and noticing that no one else is doing it.

That's not a condemnation or criticism of anyone, it's simply an observation.

I've spent the majority of my life in service to my country and family.  Many of us have done one or another...or like me, both.  While it is gratifying, some of us find ourselves within our quiet moments, not really happy with what we are doing.

Maybe the job pays great but sucks on every other level.  Maybe the pay sucks but there just aren't any other immediate options available at the time.

Or maybe some of us just made a wrong choice and are stuck in place.

However, there are those rare times...those golden occasions where everything is in sync.  Within the deepest parts of you, it is understood that you are where you are supposed to be, doing the thing you are supposed to do.

The Inner Chime resounds within you....

and you just know.

So to the two people that love me and are concerned for my well-being, let this be said.  I will always find a roof over my head.  I will always do my best to care for myself and those that count on me.  And no, I won't ever again own a 3500 square foot home or a new car.  I will never again earn a six figure income.  The truth is, I don't earn a dime doing what I do, but someday I plan to draw a small salary when it's possible.

I'll struggle with the simple things like insurance and vehicle repairs...just like you.

But you know what?  If that's the best I ever do, that's good enough.

This is something I feel I need to do, and that feeling is so strong within me that I've made my choices.  I choose to do what I do until I can no longer physically do it.

I don't hear the swirling winds of unsure decisions or circumstance.  I have no nagging feeling, prompting me to "examine my priorities."

I have a goal, a job to do and good, decent people helping me to do it....

and at my center is calm.

May I suggest that you search for the same.  On the day you take your last breath, that big house and expensive car won't mean a thing.

Those you touch will.

This is where I am, this is where I will stay, and I need to be here.

If the best you can do is simply accept this, then there's nothing left to be said.

All-Righty Then...


Brett Legree said...

Very powerful - it is clear to all who read this that you truly "get it".

What you have found, is what it really is all about.

May we all find the same.

Grant Johnson said...

Just like how I ended up in Wyoming. Half the pay, but less than half the hours (only 40) and I get time with my family.

So few people understand what really matters. I am glad you do, the world is a better place for it. We are just starting up something similar here, and plan to learn as much as we can from your trials and tribulations, so that maybe we won't have to learn the hard way.

ShawnDBruce said...


Unknown said...

I have a friend who used to be like how you describe. Thinking more of their values and that you should value things the same. But they come around if they really care about you and not just themselves. Stay true, stay strong.

Amenditman said...


Very few people ever discover that one thing that is their true purpose in life. It's why there are so many hurting people. Even fewer are able to 'give up' the life they 'deserve' to grab the opportunity when it is presented.

I applaud your ability to see beyond a great career move and see that it is a comfortable, high paying distraction from that which is important to you and fulfills your need to do it.

Keep up the good work. You are not alone. Your friends can see that you are happy doing what you do, and we support you. The two that don't see it will come around.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it would interest those that are so concerned for your well being that there are many of us out here who not only deeply respect you for what you are doing but are actually envious that you have the courage to do what you do. I personally don't have the courage to turn down an opportunity like you describe, but I am deeply grateful that there is someone in the world like you doing what you do. Thank you from all of us.

Curt- said...

Sometimes I think I should have "taken the job", but then I look at my daughter and realize, as you say, that there are more important things.

Bravo, Ken.

Gavin said...

I think there is just one thing to keep in mind when it comes to making a living: pride.

Pride can sometimes get in the way of what you should do to take care of yourself and your friends and family. It can ultimately limit your choices and create artificial barriers. However, pride is not evil in itself. Having no pride is just as bad as having too much of it.

All things in moderation.

For instance, I like Microsoft products and I use them. I give money to Microsoft and work with a lot of MS software. But I still would not want to work for Microsoft. That would cut off a lot of good work that I could do with open source and free software. Pride in the open source and free software models prevents me from "selling out" as the kids say today.

Then again, if all else failed, I would push aside that pride of mine and go work for Microsoft if it meant putting food on the table. Granted I would seriously consider adding "would you like fries with that?" to my professional repertoire before finally accepting that MS position ;) but still.

Being able to use pride to enable choices in one's career is a great privilege in this world. Historically speaking, very few people who have ever lived have had choices in their work environments. This privilege is not to be taken lightly. Those of us who have it must never take it for granted.

My hat is off to you, Ken, for using pride to guide your decisions and realizing how very profound that act is. If you live for another 50 years, you already know that you have to be able to look at yourself in the mirror and hold your head high. And if you had not had the courage to use your pride like that, the mirror would know...

Anonymous said...

Many years ago I reconciled myself to being in a relatively low income bracket, as I was not and am not willing to spend the time required to "get ahead" financially. My chosen line of work is not one that will ever make me rich, anyways, but I love to do it and see going to work as going to enjoy myself at a place away from home. Living with depression for all of my adult life and the counselling I have had have shown me what is important in life - enjoying yourself and living in a way that you can look at yourself in the mirror without recoiling in disgust.

Thanks for sharing this with us, Ken.

A Canadian Anomaly