Turning Avocation Into Vocation


To be happy and content, you need to have a reason for your existence. An avocation can help give you this reason. Avocation is different from vocation in that it’s an occasional occupation that fills your spare time enjoyably. It is a choice, made by you, of some activity that gives you a sense of purpose and meaning plus a direction in your life. Your avocation brings you a sense of self-importance, self-respect and the feeling of belonging to the whole of society.


Sometimes our vocations bog us down in endless routine and don’t give us much self-esteem. Avocations can help regain a favorable opinion of ourselves. You feel good about yourself because you are engaging in an activity that you have a burning desire for. It supplies you with ego food!


In many instances an avocation can turn into a vocation, especially after retirement. For example, a person doing woodworking finds that the items made fetch a good price, and it flowers into a small business. Or someone writing short stories or novels, finds there is a market for their brand of fiction. The opportunities for profit are there for many avocations enthusiastically followed.


The idea of avocation turning into vocation becomes very important in the middle years. Between the ages of 50 through 65, you need to devote some time to avocation preparation. You need to develop an interest over which you could exercise complete control. An activity where no one can sack you or give you orders. The preparation and eventual accomplishment of this avocation will guard against deteriorating mentally and physically later in life.


Having an enjoyable avocation can also combat middle-aged cynicism. This malady is a disillusionment with life and a lack of faith. The hopes and ideals of youth may not have been fulfilled completely. So, in these middle years, you need to re-evaluate your goals and keep them realistic and achievable. Hopefully, the establishment of an avocation will come out of this re-evaluation and faith in life will be renewed.


Life requires growth, and through your vital interest you will gain personal growth and well-being. You will move forward and enjoy your present moments, which are the essence of life.


We all need an interest which gives us a sense of purpose and meaning. It’s a very personal thing. Some find it in woodworking, others in writing or in many other endeavors. This feeling comes from within, and when you have it, you feel happy and content. I, myself, feel personally satisfied in writing this article.


So, get busy and get that interesting avocation that can be turned into a vocation. Take that step now to fulfillment and a reason for your existence.

Problems Are Good For You

“I don’t need or want any problems, thank you.”

This is probably the typical response to the dictate, “Problems Are Good For You”. Too many problems tend to break people down. You need to be strong minded and have courage and hope to face problems.

But, on the plus side, solving life’s difficulties increases our confidence, our courage, and our powers of strategy and efficiency. By facing and conquering obstacles, your mind grows strong and your character develops.

For many people, problems mean insecurity. But in reality, the only internal security you have is in the knowledge that you can handle life’s difficulties in a positive way.

Many people avoid dealing with problems because they fear failure. This fear leads to emotional, mental, and physical immobility and the inability to function productively.

Sometimes, failure in solving a problem is just someone else’s opinion on how it should be solved. Once you realize there are many ways to solve a problem and many learning experiences connected with the search for a solution, total failure won’t exist for you!

Even if you don’t completely solve a difficulty, you can learn just from trying. Without trying we learn nothing. So even out of so called “failure” can come good!

After you have faced problems and not run away, and come up with solutions, you become a person filled with confidence. You become secure in the knowledge that you can handle any difficulty that comes along in life. This confident thought inspires and strengthens you. Solving problems can change your destiny. Every victory helps you acquire a sense of purpose, meaning and fulfillment in your life.

So, problems ARE good for you!



“Writer Dave has attempted to write about something that is really important. There is nothing to fear except fear itself, but writing about it in a creative way is very difficult. I am not yet brave enough to write a serious article. I salute Writer Dave, a brave man!”

15 Minutes Of Fame

These fleeting moments can come at any time of life, they can come often or hardly at all!

Moments when you felt on top of the world.

Moments when you felt that you had “made it”.

15 minutes of fame, was an expression coined by Andy Warhol.

15 minutes, meaning the fleeting nature of fame.

Four stories of my “15 minutes of fame”.


I was 11 years old. It was the day of the school softball game against a rival school. I was the last one to be chosen to play for my school. Probably, because of my mediocre softball skills!

Our parents were invited and of course some pupils from each school. A large crowd of onlookers!

So, it was the last of the ninth inning and I came up to bat. I saw the long faces of my team-mates. They were thinking they wish someone else was up to bat. Someone who could hit!

The score was 0-0!

I was nervous but I tried not to show it. I took a couple of practice swings, like the pros. On the first pitch I swung with all my might and connected.

The ball flew out of the infield into the outfield and fell between the left fielder and the center fielder. They both were running after the ball, it went all the way to the barrier.

I was running around the bases as fast as I could, yet it seemed like slow motion!

The center fielder finally ran down the ball and threw it back to the infield, but by that time I had crossed home plate.

Bedlam broke out!

All my team-mates were jumping up and down and patting me on the back. All the parents were clapping and cheering. I had won the ball game and I felt 10 feet tall!

My accomplishment was reported in the school newspaper. It was a great day!


I was 15 years old and I was the only one in the class to get 100% on a big Latin exam. The teacher told me to stand and take a bow. The 30 students in the class and the teacher gave me a round of applause. I was ecstatic!


I was 30 years old and getting married in Rothwell, in 1969.

When I came out of the doors of the Parish Church with my new wife for the picture taking, a huge cheer went up from the assembled crowd. People were sitting on the walls around the Church. I was gob-smacked! It seemed like the whole town had come out to see what this American looked like that was marrying a local girl.

The crowd was cheering and clapping. A reporter from the local paper was taking photos. I felt like a Rock Star! It was reported in the local paper. It was like a Royal wedding!


I was 69 years old and I bowled my highest game ever. Now, a perfect game is a 300 score, that’s 12 strikes in a row! I had bowled 8 strikes and 4 spares which gave me a 235 game! I felt invincible throwing the ball that day!

When the game finished, I had a crowd around my alley, all clapping. It was a great feeling!

The management of the alleys gave me a printout of my game and a voucher for 3 free games. No newspaper story this time!

Three Aspects of Web of Guilt, A Chicago Story by David Wise

Available on Amazon Kindle

THE PSYCHOGICAL ASPECT- Web of Guilt, A Chicago Story, is a story about “GUILT” and it’s corrosive effect it has on people. It can also be used to motivate people to do good or bad things. The three characters, Carl, Beth, and John, all get corroded and motivated when trying to exonerate themselves from this emotion.

THE CHICAGO ASPECT- Web of Guilt, A Chicago Story, is built around Chicago landmarks and events. Chicago, the city, becomes very real to readers, even if they have never been there! Chicago can be an exciting and grim place.

THE CRIME ASPECT- Web of Guilt, A Chicago Story, is about crime and how the Chicago gangster, Tony Romato, tangles with the three characters in a web of guilt.

ALL THREE ASPECTS- combine to make Web of Guilt, A Chicago Story, a terrifying journey in the city of Chicago, where ordinary people mix with gangsters and struggle to free themselves from the devastating emotion of guilt.

THE AUTHOR- David Wise is a Northamptonshire writer, who has been living in England for over 25 years. He was born and bred in Chicago. He calls himself an Anglo-American.


24 Traumatic Hours, Twice!

The Becoming

All available on Amazon in ebook and paperback

Assertiveness Equals Strength

Do you want to be strong in your dealings with other people? Of course, you say. Then you want to assert yourself.

There is a difference between assertiveness and aggressiveness!

Aggressiveness—Using violent, hostile and angry behavior and attitudes to be forceful.

Assertiveness—It is the ability to communicate clearly and confidently your needs, wants, ideas, opinions and feelings. When you accept that not everyone in the world will be kind and caring toward you, you realize the need for assertiveness.

To be assertive:

  1. It means leaving a strong impression on others. You can handle criticism and exploitation and eventually master the situation. Strength is the name of the game and people respect you more when you are strong in your ideas and opinions and you feel you are a worthy, effective person.
  2. The assertive person doesn’t want or need to ask permission to speak, to think, or to need approval from others, although it’s nice to get it.
  3. Use your posture and body language to communicate self-confidence. Stand tall and sit erect. Have eye contact and speak in a firm voice.
  4. You will actively seek out what you want. The assertive person will find the work he wants to do, hobbies that interest him and friends who stimulate and support.

In dealing with life, we need high self-esteem and being assertive will give you this. Being assertive is also having courage, the willingness to confront fear and to stand up to it.

When you assert yourself, first you think, then you do, and after you do, you know and understand.

There is an exception to that statement:

Life is like moving a glass vase. The most important thing is not to drop it. You need to understand that BEFORE you act! Afterwards, you may come to understand how you came to drop it, but the damage is done!

It’s like that when you deal with people’s feelings. If you damage them, it may take a long time just to repair the damage and you may never achieve that!

Can you be assertive and humble at the same time?

Sometimes gentleness is the best attitude, then nobody feels threatened. Some weak people wouldn’t relate well to an assertive person. So, it would be wonderful if we could combine assertiveness with humility.

Assertion can be attained by being forceful and confident without being contemptuous of others. Even when you are being assertive, you can still have reverence for others.

So, you feel good when you are strong, and assertiveness equals strength!

I hope I explained the difference between assertiveness and aggressiveness.


Conspiracy Theories

I love to hear a good conspiracy theory!

Some people are uncomfortable with them. But for me, conspiracy theories are intriguing. It’s like exploring a puzzle or a mystery novel.

I’m a writer and I find it interesting to consider the theory, weigh the evidence and see if it makes any sense. I suppose, for some, it’s a form of entertainment.


It’s a fact that at least half of the civilized world agree with one or more of the common theories.


There is an emotional tug to conspiracy theories because the human brain evolved by processing information about survival in the wild. This includes the tendency to assume that unseen predators are lurking in the bushes and that coincidental events are somehow related.


What is a “conspiracy theory”?

It’s a proposed plot by powerful people or organizations working in secret to accomplish some sinister goal.


Once a person believes one theory they will believe in many because they would begin to see the authorities as fundamentally deceptive.


People question things: Why is there EVIL on earth? Humans have a dark side!

Why do bad things happen? Because there are Evil people that benefit from them! This is the underlying structure of conspiracy theories.


Many people, today, feel powerless and isolated and they imagine a world in which other people have unlimited power and work secretly together to achieve their goals.


There is a human need to explain the world and the presence of EVIL in it!


Conspiracy theories connect the dots of random events into meaningful patterns and then you look for confirming evidence and low and behold you have a “conspiracy theory”!


People feel “shadowy forces” are behind major world events. The theories come from a paranoid mindset: “Somebody is out to get us!”


Belief in conspiracies is predictable when people are fed lies and distortions and when simple facts are declared “state secrets”.


A lot of what gets categorized as conspiracy is often people just trying to make sense of things in a world where government and the media inform us in a way that best suits their agenda.


It’s intriguing that the theories are usually based on claims that are nearly impossible to prove or disprove. Hence, skepticism is increased!


Ordinary folk feel left out of the mechanics of power mainly because politicians are so devious. So naturally, it’s easy to believe that political affairs can be driven by sinister forces.


The “Powers That Be” use the term “conspiracy theory” to provide a convenient way of brushing serious allegations aside, because they want the official version of events to prevail. So much of what is reported is manipulated and distorted, now days, that we tend NOT to believe the “official version” of anything!


In conclusion: If politicians and the media were more reliable, forthcoming and truthful, maybe the public would believe the “official version” of things more.


So, readers, what is your favorite conspiracy theory and why?

And do you believe it?


Staying Sane!

I was enjoying a margarita at my favorite watering hole, sitting on my favorite green padded stool, when in walked three identical looking chaps. They sat on the three stools next to me.

Now, they weren’t truly identical, one had brown hair, one had blond hair, and one had red hair. But, they all had an identical confused look on their face!

“Hello fellas, how are you this fine day?” I said, trying to be friendly.

The one next to me smiled and said: “I’m Sane, and next to me are Eccentric and Mad.”

“Those are your names?”

They all nodded.

I gulped down my margarita and ordered another.

“I’m trying to help my two friends here back to sanity,” said the one called Sane.

“Do you often talk to strangers about your mental states?”

They all nodded.

“One of the great joys of life is talking to strangers and getting involved in “real” conversations with them,” said Eccentric.

“I try to take a bath everyday,” said Mad.

“Good for you, Mad,” I said, smiling. He didn’t smile back!

“I tell my two friends here to take at least 15 minutes a day and do nothing, it helps to slow things down in this frenzied world,” said Sane.

“Are you frustrated? Are you depressed? Or, are you mad?” I said, taking a sip of my third margarita.

“You hit the nail on the head,” said all three in unison.

“That’s good, because these could be your motivators towards change.”

“How can we relax and retain our sanity or get it back?” They all asked, even Sane.

“Sit very still and listen for a few minutes. What do you hear?”

“I hear my breathing,” said Sane.

“I hear my heart beating,” said Eccentric.

“I hear someone laughing,” said Mad.

“Now, do you all feel relaxed and sane?”

“Yes, we do,” they all said together.

“Well, you feel relaxed and calm because you are experiencing being in the present, which we seldom experience now days.”

We all started laughing. It was a wonderful moment.

“If we couldn’t laugh, we would go looney,” I said wisely.

“Well, we have to leave now, nice meeting you,” said Sane, and they all walked out into the sunshine.

I thought… I think I will go home and have a bath!

The Mantra

“Dave, help me, I’m completely confused!” cried my friend’s son at my front door. I was like an uncle to him.

“Come in Tom, and take a load off.”

I ushered him into my lounge and sat him down on the sofa. I sat opposite in an easy chair. He was disheveled, completely untidy and disordered. He was only thirty years old but he looked much older!

“Now Tom, what’s the problem?”

“Well, I signed up to a meditation class to try to figure my life out and they keep talking about life mantras. I am totally confused,” he said, wringing his hands.

“What are the mantras?”

“They keep repeating them over and over: Individualism is good, Pursue your passion, March to your own drummer, Find yourself, and on and on.”

“Well Tom, these mantras all preach the SELF as the center of life. Lets take them one at a time…”

“Someone told me individualism is bad yet the mantra says it’s good! I’m going crazy,” said Tom, interrupting.

“Okay, take it easy, you’ll give yourself hypertension!”

Tom took a deep breath and waited for my remarks.

“These are people who have doubts about individualism-with its attendant selfishness and divisiveness.”

“But I want to know if individualism is good,” Tom shouted, “I feel naked before the assaults of life.”

“Hey Tom, I like that line. You are naked, there is only you, only yourself against the world.”

Well Dave, do I strive for individualism or not?”

“Yes, I think striving for individualism is a good thing. It has fuelled invention, two revolutions, agricultural and industrial and all the enterprise that has brought the better things in life to us. None of this would have been possible had not people been encouraged to be themselves and create.”

“What about the contention that individualism is selfish?”

“It’s not selfish at all. We develop ourselves to be useful to ourselves and others. Much of what people do benefits others and humanity as a whole.”

“So Dave, we should reflect on what we can do individually to realize our potential and make the world a better place.”

“You’ve got it, Tom.”

“Now, what about this “pursue your passion” mantra?”

“First, you must discover your passion. Mine is creative writing. Following your passion will help you tap into your talents. Your passion will push you to become better in areas that you are strong and then it can be shared with the world.”

“Sounds good,” said Tom, smiling.

“Lastly, they keep banging on about “finding yourself”. Why is this so important?”

“Well, it’s all wound up in the things we’ve been talking about: Individualism, Chart your own course, Pursue your passion. You will be content in your own skin when you know who you are. But it will take some introspection into how you think as opposed to what others think.”

“Well Dave, I feel better now, after our little talk. When I sit down and ask myself questions that only I can answer, I will come to the realization that “I am nobody but MYSELF.”

“I think you’ve got the gist of those mantras now.”

“What should be my mantra now?” said Tom, waiting for a great revelation from me!



“The Becoming” by David Wise

My new book, “The Becoming” is due out early in 2015.

A story of a man creating himself through a lifetime of confronting his demons

and frightening situations.

Sometimes what you become, at different stages of your life, isn’t what you


Think about your OWN “becoming” experience.

It might NOT have always been a happy one.

How did you evolve through the years?