Monday, October 7, 2013

Jake Furie Lapin:Follow Your Heart: There’s A Reason for Everything

One of the key lessons I have learned on my journey is the importance of following your heart.  Following my heart has made me the man I am today.  For example, when I was 18, I had a real estate license but struggled.  At that age, I couldn't sell a house or even really show a house, because nobody wants to buy real estate from someone so young.

In any case, at this time there was an Italian restaurant near my house and I used to eat there often.  There was a girl who worked at the restaurant who was a little bit older than I was; I was 18 and she was about 20 or 21.  Her name was Amy; we would talk a lot because I would hang out there for a couple of hours at a
time.  She knew I was struggling as a real estate agent and she told me that she just got a job at a telephone survey place and that they were hiring like crazy, paying top dollar at $12/hr.  I followed her there to apply for a job.  She ultimately wasn't good at the job, but it turned out that I was.  At that place, you really had to be good on the phone.  It taught me how to talk to people, to listen to their voice inflections, how to speed up and slow down, and how to manage the inflections of my own voice.  This is something that has really affected the way I interact with women.  Women love a man who knows how to talk to them and how to whisper those sweet nothings in their ear…

Anyway, Amy eventually went back to the pizzeria.  After about a year, I needed some extra money and they were hiring at the pizzeria, so I ended up working for the telephone survey place during the day and the pizzeria at night.  I still had a crush on Amy, but she was older and could get into clubs and bars and I was still just 18.  I had a car, but all of her boyfriends were from the wealthier side of town and drove Corvettes, Camaros, Monte Carlos, etc. while my car was a Japanese 2 door used.  But still, Amy and I talked a lot and it ended up that I got a job as a dishwasher at the restaurant.  The place wasn't that busy and as the dishwasher, I could spend hours talking to her.  There would be times when it was busy in the front and I’d be in the back washing dishes and have nothing to do, and the 2 Italian cooks in the back would teach me how to cook.  So at the Italian restaurant, I gained another life skill; not only was I learning to talk to people – but the restaurant cooks taught me how to cook meatballs, lasagna dishes, etc.  I don’t think there’s a woman in the world who doesn't think it’s really sexy when a man knows how to cook.  Because I followed my heart with Amy, I gained that impressive skill.

I wasn't making quite enough money between the two jobs and as I got older, I started building my IT career.  When I was younger I was always good at computer games etc., and at one point somebody taught me how to hack phone cards.  I did it in a friendly way; I never stole any money or anything like that, but one
day the FBI showed up in my living room with my computer sitting on the floor unplugged and taped up.  This was back in high school, and at that time the laws were different; you were able to break into company websites and look around and snoop, but the laws today are much stricter. You’re not even allowed to break in.  Anyway, I didn't get into trouble; they just wanted to talk to me, but at that time, the FBI guy told me something very important.  He asked me “Why don’t I use my skills to help companies close up their loopholes, rather than sneaking through them?” His words made a huge impact on me, and I remembered that incident when I was working in the kitchen at the Italian restaurant. As I was getting closer to the age of 21, I had some skills under my belt, and so I decided to pursue an IT career.  Initially, I applied to the ARMY ROTC program, but through their testing, even though I was extremely smart and skilled, they wanted me as a front line soldier.  I asked why, and they had said I had a rare eye blindness, that I can see through camouflage.  This was due to the fact that I had stared at the sun a bit when I was younger, which caused the color blindness, burned my color filters, and actually had raised all my other senses.  I decided to pass being a front line soldier, and went into the private sector becoming the owner of a very successful IT company for about 10 years. But I think today, had I not burned my filters, would I be dead? As a few months after that ROTC recruit, the US had gone to war in the Middle East.  And those raised senses help me in so many ways today.

How does this tie into following your heart? Well, back in high school, when I was learning computers, I had a crush on a girl in my freshman year.  She took a typing class, so I took the same typing class, just to follow her, just like I followed Amy later on.  I was one of only 3 guys in the classroom.  Our typing teacher liked me and he pushed me which really helped because I excelled at that class and I got up to 60 or 70 words per minute.  The teacher recommended that I take a second year.

It turned out that the girl I had followed was sleeping with the whole football team and that kind of turned me off.  But in the class there was another girl, who was kind of shy and very pretty.  We took the second year of typing class together and bonded for a long time.  In that second year, I got up to about 85 words per minute but it was very embarrassing because I was the only guy in the class, and there were about 6 girls, all of whom are secretaries or paralegals today.  There really wasn't any need for me to take a second year of typing.  However, reflecting back now, if I hadn't taken that second year of typing, I wouldn't have aced all my papers in my last year of high school and in college, and I wouldn't be able to type as fast I can when I blog as I do today or email, multitask, etc.  In my IT career later on, I definitely needed to have those fast typing skills for typing code, etc.

Following my heart gave me those essential typing skills, just as it gave me the skills to cook and to talk to people.  Looking back, I think, “Damn! If I didn't follow the girls I had crushes on way back when, I never would have learned how to cook, or how to talk, or how to type.”

I also followed my heart as far as computers go.  My parents were pushing me to be an engineer or a lawyer, but I didn't want to be either of those.  I loved computers and technology and still do today.  This has been a key part of my success in business, as I am my own IT department in many of my ventures, and allows me to care for my subs and the women in my life.

So things really do happen for a reason, if you follow your heart, even though it may not become apparent at the time.

Coming back around full circle, I ran into Amy, the girl I had a crush on in high school, when I was about 27 and she was 30, and I was now very successful in my IT career.  This was before I got married; we were in a famous club in town and she was with her sister.  Her sister had a crush on me but was a total bitch; in the ten 10 years that I had known them, she hadn't changed one bit from being a bitch.  Amy, however, was awesome; she was a total sweetheart.  We had kept in touch sporadically throughout those years; from the time I knew her at the pizzeria when I had my real estate license all the way through my IT career.  I always stopped by and said hello.  At 27, she knew that I had dated a few people already and I was moving on.  At the time, I had a girlfriend that I was pretty serious with.  I kind of regret it now, because that girlfriend ended up dumping me on my 28th birthday.  I didn't know that at the time, though, and that day in the club, Amy pulled me aside and asked me, “Why have you never asked me out? We get along so well!”

I felt like I flashed back to high school; I remember thinking, “Damn, what do I do now; all those female friends that had signed my yearbook, asking the same question.” Little did they know how submissive I was due to the prejudices that existed in town, mainly from the adults.  So I simply told her that I was with somebody at the time.  Sadly, I knew that the person I was with wasn't with me in her heart.  I should have dumped her and told Amy, “You know, you’re right.  What are you doing for dinner next Friday?”, or something along those lines.  That would probably have changed my life, but I didn't do that.  I was very faithful, and I am still very faithful today with my word, but I learned the lesson.  When the opportunity is there, go with your heart and follow your heart.  You might not even realize until much later what the importance of that meeting or opportunity was.

How does Jake keep following his heart along his life’s journey? Check in next week in his business ventures that leads to the ultimate turn of events...


AUTHOR NAME  Jake Furie Lapin -- My Blogs

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  1. You are definitely a man who follows his heart. I love how honest you are. I went on a school trip once because a boy I liked was going. I never stood a chance as he ended up with the most popular girl in school. Didn't have first boyfriend til I was 18 and I was with him for 16 years until i realised he drank and smoked too much. That was not how I wanted my life to be living with a drunk. I often wonder where i would be if I had stayed.
    Love your blog. You are an inspiration to others

  2. I love reading all of your blogs. It's hard to pick a favorite... that is until today when I saw this new blog. This one is by far my absolute favorite because it hits home and I'm sure it's hitting home with a lot of people as well when they read this. I think back to the guy I had a major crush on in my typing class in high school who used to make me laugh when I was trying to type. I really thought we would be serious after we left high school, but I followed my heart and decided it was best to part ways since we didn't have a lot in common. I later learned he was going to dump me the next day anyway, so it turned out to be the best decision I ever made. I agree 100% with Nicola, you're an inspiration to others. I am in awe as always. Love the changes you made to the website.

  3. Jake was passionate with everything. He took hold of opportunity he stretched his limits tested himself in ways he didn't even know he was doing. He learned so much without even knowing it!! Great job!!! Xx Butterfly you

  4. I am proud of you for following your heart to acquire the life skills you needed to survive. I'm glad you decided to part ways with Amy. To be with someone thAt you have nothing in common with makes for a unhappy life. I know life experience.

  5. In your case following your heart was a successful experience and you learned many skills. Sometimes when you follow your heart other hearts break.Sometimes the heart isnt attached to the brain and then following your heart causes heartache.Weigh all outcomes when following your heart. Thank you. Twitter handle @WannaBeRockStar

  6. Hmm. Every fork in the road leads to a different outcome. You lead with your heart which gave you experiences you may not have had otherwise. Some of your situations could have affected you negatively but you chose to see the positive. I'm new to you and your blog but like what you are projecting. Looking forward to learning more.

  7. Interesting way to portray "following your heart". Although I'm happy for Jake who found success by following his heart, it's not always the case for everyone. Many times following your heart leads to more heartache especially when you ignore what common sense (your head) is telling you. Both should balance each other & not contradict. If they do, follow your head. The heart makes irrational decisions. I'm speaking from experience...
    Great blog again. I enjoyed it. Looking forward to more. ;-)

  8. I should take your advice. I have always missed opportunities in life because I was to scared to follow my heart and take the risk. Whenever I do especially with my career it alwaya pays off. I should follow my heart and not be afraid to fail, get rejected,or heartbroken. Your words are inspiring.

  9. I like the way you see life... Is very important to have a positive attitude

  10. Unfortunately my heart tends to go after dark dangerous and general things that are not good for me. Following my heart has got me into more trouble and dispair than anything else. So I tend to do the opposite of what my heart says.

    However I understand the moral of the story. Everything in our lives results from one thing. Our choices. We do the best with what we are given at the time. Hind sight is a wonderful thing. We all make mistakes but its what we learn from them that matters.

    People will come in out of our lives all the time. Some make little difference some change our lives irrevocably. The challenge is to recognise the people that change our lifes for the better and to hold on to them.

  11. Just proves as you said. Everything happens for a reason. Like its written in stone, waiting for your discovery. Very encouraging!

  12. Everything is a mystery, just awaiting your discovery. The opportunity is there, carpe diem!! Very encouraging!

  13. Life is short... I believe that everything & everyone happens for a reason, good or bad... In life you have to take every opportunity that comes your way...it doesn't matter if it is a right or wrong choice..that's what makes you the person you are today...


  14. I wish all people were as fortunate when following their hearts. I think listening and following your heart is amazing advice. Unfortunately some people follow their hearts but have no intelligence behind it either and get in worse sutuations. But I usually listen to my heart even if it turns out to be wrong, but its so wonderful when it's right.

  15. You certainly have a way with words, this is very beautiful and very true following your heart is THE best Thing you can do even if sometimes it turns out not to be THE rIght choice but still THE best way

  16. I followed my heart and ended up marrying the most loving adorable man. I changed my job, home and country. Would follow my heart every time.

  17. We should all follow our hearts. I think sometimes we lose track of that. It's nice to read about someone who just goes for it. You can't get anywhere in life if you never take any chances.