I was once a failed musician. I spent years trying to make it in the music industry, but he always came up short. Finally, I surrendered my life to God and discovered my true talent and passion for coding. I am now an artificial intelligence engineer and I am using my skills to change the world.
January of 2010, I was living in my car and singing for my dinner on 3rd street promenade in Santa Monica. I wanted so badly to be a famous music artist, and I would have given anything to make that dream happen.
Little did I know that, three years later, I would have absolutely nothing to show for all my hard work and sacrifice. I remember kneeling down on the ground, next to my brother's couch (upon which I was living at the time), and praying:
"God, I have none of the things I wanted when I moved down to LA. I have no friends, no money, no girlfriends, no record labels wanting me, and no success. You can't possibly mess up my life any worse than I already have, and so I surrender my life to you. It is yours now."
After that, I moved back to Napa with my parents. I started studying bookkeeping, and I passed the Quickbooks Certification Exam. I had forgotten how good it feels so succeed at something, and to use my brain. I had always been smart in high school and college, but nobody ever cared about that, so I chose to find something that would get me more attention from the girls (music).
After bookkeeping I went to law school, became a Realtor, and finally, learned to code. I loved coding, and I still do, and I find I am naturally gifted at it. Just to give a contrast, I was a musician for 14 years and I lived in LA for 6 years trying to make my dreams come true, and at the end of it, I was still making only around $100 per month from my music.
In the coding world, however, within my first 3 years I worked at one of the top tech companies in the world, contributed to some of the most important repositories in the world, and am in demand by so many companies that my inbox is full from recruiters. I also credit God with giving me my fiancee, who is the most amazing woman I have ever met, and she is a true inspiration and role model for me.
It was (and still is) difficult to accept that I had no natural ability for music, and to watch others live their dreams that I once had. However, I fully appreciate the fact that I can learn complex things quickly, and I enjoy using my brain, in the same way that I used to enjoy using my singing voice or my songwriting skills.
I believe that God gives everyone a special ability, and often that special ability has been with us our whole lives, so we are bored of it and we seek out something else. But true happiness for me was not found by following my passions and my dreams, but following God's will and finding the right place for my God-given natural abilities.
I hope my story inspires you to realize that you don't have it all figured out, and no matter how rich you are, you don't have all the right answers.