Why most people pick the wrong career, according to a former rocket scientist

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The 29-year-old actor stared at his bank account statement. 

He had only $106 left to his name. 

His acting career was going nowhere. He couldn’t afford the rent on his cheap Hollywood apartment. He even tried to sell his dog because he didn’t have enough money to buy dog food. 

To take his mind off things, he decided to watch the world heavyweight title fight. Reigning champion Muhammad Ali was facing off against Chuck Wepner, a relatively unknown club fighter. The fight was supposed to be an easy win for Ali. But defying all odds, Wepner fought for 15 rounds before being knocked out. 

Against one of the greatest boxers of all time, this supposed nobody held his own. Inspired by this triumph of the human spirit, the actor decided to write a screenplay. Since he couldn’t get acting jobs in other people’s movies, he would create a lead character for himself to play. He grabbed a Bic pen, lined sheets of paper, and started writing. 

He finished the script in just three and a half days. 

One day, on his way out the door from another failed audition, he turned around and, on a whim, mentioned his script to the producers in the room. Intrigued by the premise, the producers read the script, loved it, and offered him $25,000 to purchase the rights. But they had a condition: They wanted a big-name actor with a big box-office draw to play the lead. 

The actor refused. 


https://images.fastcompany.net/image/upload/w_1250,ar_16:9,c_fill,g_auto,f_auto,q_auto,fl_lossy/wp-cms/uploads/2023/04/p-1-90878432-why-most-people-pick-the-wrong-career-according-to-a-former-rocket-scientist.webpSylvester Stallone and his dog, Butkus, in a still from the 1976 film Rocky [Photo: United Artists/Courtesy of Getty Images]



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