44) My Ridiculous Idea to Study Happiness

In the last post you read about progress on my 16-year journey to complete college beginning with my one-hour bus ride to City College of San Francisco. In this post you will how my curiosity about work and human performance led me to visit The Johnson-O’Connor Research Foundation in Dallas, Texas.

What I Had Been Trying Was Not Working

Instead of relying on trial and error to find a suitable career, are some jobs more suitable than others, depending on a person’s skills and aptitudes? I thought so at the time and was very interested in a  more organized approach to finding my “dream” job.

I was sure a persons happiness was tied to job satisfaction so I decided to see if these skills and aptitudes could be measured through testing and correlated with possible vocations. I was determined to learn more about this and another phenomena such as:

  •  why some people succeed and others fail,
  •  some are happy, others are not,
  •  why some welcome change, while others resist it and
  •  how people make decisions and can this process improve?

Maybe the answers to these questions would help me understand why on my sales calls, some folks had refused to see me, take my calls or listen to the information I believed they needed.

1984 – A New Way of Finding Things Using a Spider-Wed of Computing Machines

Within a few weeks, before I would make certain decisions that affected my career, while visiting my university recruiting building, I began to use a technology that allowed me to search through directories of data-bases that had been compiled locally and displayed businesses and other institutions within California and other states like Texas. I was looking for a test, possibly administered by career advisers or psychologists that might help a person determine what line of work for which she was most suited.


The new technology I was using was called the Internet, accessing it, I recall through Prodigy, the first Internet Service Provider (ISP) to use a graphical user interface, rather than command-line, as had been the case with CompuServe.

Later that month I hopped aboard a plane to Dallas, Texas to undergo a battery of aptitude tests at The Johnson-O’Connor Research Foundation.

What a crazy idea; taking a test to find my life’s work.

Do you love your job (or did you LEARN to love your job)?

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