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What Skills Do You Have?

I was thinking about some money challenges a friend of mine is having.

He's an Indian guy, studying in the states.

He said that is he is running out of money.

I remember when I was in Germany in 2001 ($10,000 in credit card debt at the time), and had NO money...

I had a plane ticket home, but that wouldn't happen for eight more weeks.

I was ashamed to ask my parents for (more) help, because they were helping me dig my way out of the credit card debt. I had lied to them for 6 months before I went to Germany to try to cover up my mistakes, and didn't want to have to ask for more help.

But I barely had enough money to buy something to eat.

However, 3 days before I left for Germany, I had just gotten certified in massage therapy.

So I went to a few massage therapists, and with my limited German language skills, found one who had a massage chair I could borrow.

But she needed some collateral, something of value to know that she would get her massage chair back.

So I gave her my passport.


I don't think I would do that today.

But I did what I needed to do.

Over the next 6 weeks, I found people I could give massage to.

I even set up the chair in the middle of the city one day on a sidewalk with a sign saying "free massage from America" in German.

I tried to get complete strangers to sit in my massage chair and let me give them free massage on the street.

I got laughed at by some guys walking by.

I also got lots of funny looks from people.

(I know now that I used "freie" when I should have used "umsonst" on my sign to say that it was free/tips only.)

But I thought it would work, so I tried it.

I didn't make much that day, but I earned about $400 in between classes in 4 weeks. That was about 900 Deutschmarks.

That actually was pretty decent money for a college student in Germany working part-time in 2001.

I wasn't technically allowed to earn money while I was in Germany. But I needed to, so I did.

And I actually had to repair the carrying case for the massage chair when the chair fell off my bike one day... but that's a whole other story.

Anyway, I tell you this to say that I have an idea of the challenges you're experiencing. I don't know exactly what you're going through, but I do have an idea of it.

It's not easy. But it is worth it.
(I'm still very much figuring this out for myself too.)

It is your creativity and ability to correctly assess and apply your skills, in order to overcome obstacles, which will carry you through all that you are working through right now.

It is the exact overcoming of those obstacles which makes you the person you need to BE to DO the work you're meant to do in the world, so that you can HAVE the life you want to have.


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