No Passion, not doing enough, guilty, fearful

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    Need help for my life

    Today I came across this site, I felt I should asks something here for my situation.

    I am male 39, happily married with one child. I am working in a Multinational Company as a Engineer. I am not very ambitious person. I am happy with what I have and the money I have. What I am not happy is how I live my life personally and professionally. I changed to my current job around 7 years ago. I did my job ok-ok. Nothing great I can boast about. I did not receive any promotion in last 7 years. All my colleague who joined with me are not managers. Many of my juniors are also got promotion and they have become manager now. Its not that I feel that I need to be a manager, but I want to grow up in the position.

    I like the work of engineer but having said that I do not feel passionate about it. I spend my day worrying about things like how I will manage things? Basically giving 30-40% of my capacity and spend remaining time in worrying, avoiding work, on internet reading news, facebook, self help topics, HBR articles etc.

    I am also a closet smoker from last 13-14 years, I smoke 10-12 cigarettes a day, but I don’t wont anyone to know about it. My colleague, my boss, wife basically all the people who can influence my day to day life. I am an introvert but closet smoking makes me even more introvert. I avoid talking to people as I feel they will know that I am a smoker. I want to keep it as secret as possible. Do I enjoy smoking?…not much…and I surely want to quit, but not successful. I feel guilty about it.

    I seriously need your help some direction. I don’t have any close friend, relative with whom I can discuss all the things.



    Hi. First things first, everyone has Skeletons in their closets, and I mean everyone, yours just so happen to bother you because you know about them. the light is that while you hiding things, others are doing the exact same. The antidote to this situation would be to first share something you wouldn’t usually about your closet activities, you will be surprised the person you decide to confine to may actually have something they would like to release as well. Best practice is to be alone with this person of your choice, in my opinion which counts for little in your life would be to go to your wife first. after revealing the heavies of your heart, with honesty and letting her know how much it hurts, she will have compassion for you. Guess what? this opens the door for you to ask her if there are things that she feels ashamed of an are hiding as well, and the both of you can be there for each other like never before. This then builds Confidence you just face your wife….probably one of the hardest people to do so. Let that confidence go with you to your professional environment, knowing that there are at least two people you don’t have to hide things from…your Wife and of course me since I read this. and with the confidence of transparency set higher benchmarks and goals, and go after what ever it is you want. Laziness comes from guilt and shame, not feeling like you deserve to move forward in life. But today I tell you that it not the case my good sir, you have the power to super cede any and all skeletons in your life, besides they have no muscles…lol. But you do. Go Break some bones.


    Simple solution: quit smoking, get inspired about your work, stop browsing and instead focus on the reason why you want to become a manager, last and not least… find out what it is that your junior associates are doing that’s getting them that promotion and see if you can make some changes that’ll allow you to get that promotion! Some things are beyond your control, and some things aren’t. Take control of the things that are! If life’s a like a dusty closet, you can’t keep living on that dust now can you…!


    Some people think engineer profession is a cool job… One thing to note: doesn’t matter what profession or life situation you’re in.. the people you envy so much have a set of problems on their own! you just don’t know it…. Be thankful for what you have~ If your heart tells you that you are meant to be a manager, then follow it…..



    I can definitely relate to your career issues. I’ve been through the same thing and for me it was an issue of authenticity. I chose a career that didn’t fit who I really was and worked in it for more than 20 years before I realized I didn’t like the work itself and had chosen it for approval of others and the identity/status/money it offered. I realized that my extreme drive to “succeed” was based on getting the approval/identity/status/money I longed for, not passion for the work itself. I appeared to be a happy, passionate and successful person from the outside but inside there was always turmoil and unhappiness. What I thought was passion really wasn’t and by the time I finally made that distinction I was already far down the road of severe burnout and was forced to make a change because of health issues stemming from it.

    Consider the possibility that you’re really not passionate about the type of work you are doing and that is what is contributing to your current struggles at work. If you find that to be the case, being a Manager might end up making things worse instead of better. I say this because it is the path I took. I always thought the next step up the ladder would lead to more happiness but it wasn’t the case for me. The further I moved up the ladder the more responsibility and accountability was placed on me and since I didn’t have passion for the work it became exhausting just making it through each day. It may be helpful to let go of the dream of being a manager for a while because I sense that thinking about it is using up a lot of your energy. Stay focused on the your current position/duties while you reevaluate your career and get in touch with your core values.

    Some things I’ve learned on my journey:
    – There is nothing that can make make someone passionate about a line of work if they don’t feel the passion naturally. No title, salary, or status will change that.
    – If you’re in a demanding job that you’re not passionate about it will eventually catch up with you.
    – If burnout or other health conditions are starting to become apparent, make changes sooner rather than later.
    – Passion is the key to long term career satisfaction.

    I hope this helps. Best of luck.

    Nerdy Creator

    Hey Hopeful,

    I would like to ask if you will be happy if you become a manager?

    Sometimes, we want things which we think will make us happy, but they don’t.

    From what I’ve read from your post, I think it’s very difficult to get yourself motivated to do something when you are not passionate about it.
    Plus, you say you are not the ambitious type. If you force yourself to get the manager position, the more you are going to resist it.
    And that will lead to doing stuff that divert your attention like the ones you mention above and perhaps smoking.

    What I suggest is to find something you love to do outside your work and start exploring.
    Find things which you really enjoy doing and be happy in the moment.
    You may find some ideas for a career switch and slowly change your career path.
    Even if you don’t make a career switch, I think you will find that your life becomes more meaningful just by doing the things you love.

    I said this because I’m a strong believer in passion. But do try it, I think it will change certain aspect of your life.

    For the smoking issue, I think sharing it will be a good idea. Keeping secrets definitely creates more of the guilty feelings.
    You can find some resource online not just to learn how to quit but also learn and make friends with those who have quit smoking.
    I think I know someone who has a business that helps other quit smoking or something. If you need help me to contact him, let me know.

    Usually when we continue to do things that we don’t feel good comes from beliefs on ourselves e.g. we think we are “not good enough”. Every time, we don’t feel good about ourselves, we automatically do our bad habit like smoking. So if I were you, I will find some resources to improve my self-esteem.

    You can try Morty Lefkov’s website:

    It helps me to improve my self-esteem tremendously.

    Hope what I share helps you! 🙂
    Nerdy Creator


    Thanks for your help…I surely know that I need to get rid of smoking. That is the best thing I can do to myself and my family.

    But sometimes feel that this habit is a reason I give for not doing what is needed to be done…and I need to overcome that….


    Smoke Rings and Other things.

    Well, I’m a closet smoker too. Also a housecat but am also very extroverted. Clubs, friends, sports races, I run, Ha.. go figure.
    I just don’t smoke when I’m out and about, in bars I use those vapor smokes, their really cool, very techno future.
    I can go for long periods without it. Say 6 hours.
    So you must know your limitations.

    How long between smokes can you go. Then start with outings, clubs, events, for this amount of time.
    Don’t feel guilty about the smoke, guilt will kill ya faster. ha. Why, ’cause it creates more stress, where at least the smoke declines it.

    However, just start small and say Whoo hooo.. Alot, say Whooo Hooo often. ha, it helps too.

    The job, mmm.. wish I was an engineer, whoa.. that would be so cool.
    I say tutor students, excellent for them and you’ll feel encouraged by their valuing your knowledge.
    And look awesome good on an application for management.

    My friends mom had 3 smokes a day, died at 94.
    Life is DNA and Attitude.
    She smiled alot, read alot, played piano alot, always had a great joke to tell.
    She was ……. mmm…… happy

    But she said to me, “find one thing a day and talk to it, doesn’t matter if it’s your car or a pencil, smile and thank it” Than life will always be good

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