Education – Success – Timing
“I am, somehow, less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein’s brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops.”
- Stephen Jay Gould
There is nothing worse than wasted potential. Your brilliance means nothing if it is not utilized correctly. It truly breaks my heart to see an unmotivated artist, or a mathematical genius deciding to work as a hotel concierge. In this world it does not matter how smart you are, or think you are, the only thing that matters is what you do with what you were granted.
“Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard."
Living in New York, I’ve come across my fair share of people who say they “don’t need school to get money.” Though this philosophy of autonomy and independence may seem empowering – it is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. People that claim to live by this are usually using it as an excuse to get out of going to school. Well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news (No, I don’t), but there is something undeniably wrong with that quote. Here it is: The purpose of school is NOT to ‘get money.’ It is to get an education.
Think about it, if the purpose of High School and College was to attain riches, why do the wealthy go to school? I mean, they’ve already reached the “goal,” haven’t they? You’d think that they would simply focus on maximizing and protecting their riches. Instead, what do they do? Attend Ivy Leagues and go the extra mile for Master’s, PhD’s or law degrees. The rich are fully aware of how important education is.
Repeat after me: The purpose of education is to become a more knowledgeable, well-rounded, and freethinking individual. Not to get a job or money (though those would be considered benefits).
Disclaimer: I am well aware that higher education is NOT for everyone; I am simply attempting to further elucidate its benefits and actual function.
For a person who’s spent a vast majority of her life attempting to motivate those around her, I’ve had an extremely difficult time trying to wrap my head around the meaning of success. If you knew me a few years ago, you were probably a victim of one of my rants where I’d repeat my naïve advice: “go to school, get a degree, get a job.” In retrospect, that might’ve not been the best suggestion, considering the various personalities and aspirations that everyone has. Ultimately, I realized that I cannot force others to understand what I believe is right for ME. Everyone’s life is different.
Success is one of the most subjective ideas that exist. Its definition is fluid and completely contingent on whom you’re asking. The dictionary itself describes it as ‘the accomplishment of an aim or purpose,’ leaving said ‘aim or purpose’ unspecified.
Everyone has a definition of success that is unique to his or her dreams and preferences.
- I am consumed with the idea of education. As long as there is another degree to obtain, I’ll be going for it. I absolutely love being in a classroom setting; the intellectual conversations, the cognitive interactions, and simply meeting new people. I will feel successful once I am finally teaching at a University.
- A friend of mine is a manager at a retail store and dreams of working her way up the company ladder. She has been accomplishing this with a High School Diploma. Her definition of success would be a promotion to Regional Manager or a position in HR and Corporate.
- A young couple I know, who are celebrating their first apartment, and are en route to buying a car together. Neither one of them are in school. They are lucky enough to have a. each other and b. jobs that allow them to support their lifestyle. I asked the young man what success means to him, and he responded ‘to comfortably take care of my family.’
- A neighbor says he wont feel successful until he wins a Grammy. He finished his Bachelor’s but is focusing on producing music.
- I asked my uncle what success means to him and he said ‘opening up a business and moving back to D.R.
As you can see, success is molded to fit each person differently. What does success mean to you? I know a lot of us are pressured into doing what others think is best, but there is a point in life where you realize that this is YOUR life and the clock is ticking. Whatever you do, do it for yourself.
You’ll know your path by the fun of it! Make your passion your paycheck.
Sit and think.
Everything that is happening to you now is happening for a reason.
Comparing yourself to others is detrimental to your existence. Everyone is in a different stage in his or her life, and their experiences are completely distinct. Their successes and failures are molded to fit THEM.
No matter how far you think you’ve gone down the wrong direction, you can always turn around. I don’t think everyone realizes that you have the power to change your life at anytime. Start working out. Study more. Confess your love to someone. Stop eating crap. Start waking up early. Apply to school. Go after your dream job. Start saving money.
Don’t get hung up on the past and start, RIGHT NOW.
YOU STILL HAVE TIME.