Success a Matter of Degree?
Subject: Success, Motivation, College Degree
I scolded a good friend of mine the other day; I was tired of his whining. He doesn't have a college degree. For years he's been talking about how much he wished he had gotten a college degree. Now, when I say years, I'm talking about more than ten.
I told him that for the last ten years he's been whining about not having a college degree. I then told him that in the last ten years, he's had plenty of opportunities to pursue a degree. If it weren't for his procrastination (i.e., I'll register next year, I'll get started next semester, etc.) and excuses (i.e., I'm too old to go back, I can't afford it, ...etc.) he would had one by now. I then went on to remind him that there are many stories of people who were able to achieve great levels of success and prosperity without having a college degree.
In the Wizard of Oz, we come across the cowardly lion who needs courage, the tin man who needs a heart and the scarecrow who needs a brain.
In the end we come to find out that the lion already had courage, the tin man showed he had heart and that the scarecrow indeed could think and was therefore in possession of a brain. All three had it in them, but they weren't aware of it until the Wizard informed them that they were already in possession of those attributes they sought.
My friend is no different than these characters. He has the potential to succeed, but he doesn't know it. He is under the belief that in order to succeed he must make the journey to the Emerald City of Education, do what the illustrious Wizard of B.S. (or B.A.) requires him to do so that he can be granted success.
Linda Lee wrote a book called Success Without College; a refutation of the assumption that all good little high graduates should go to college if they want to be successful. She concludes that in many cases, not all, college is a waste of time and money. I would agree to the extent that many students in college don't know what they want and are simply going through the motions to get a degree.
How do I know? When I speak at colleges and I asked the question, "Why did you choose this particular major?", I usually get look that a cross between confusion and embarrassment. The students themselves often times don't know; they just "had to pick a major".
Let me be clear on one thing, a college degree is essential if you want to compete in the job market. But I would also argue that students would be well served if they were encouraged not to simply get a degree (so they could get a job), but also to discover what it IS they want to do with their lives.
Many adults today are either unhappy with their job or would rather be doing something other then what they are doing. In many cases these adults DO have college degrees; still they are unhappy. I'm not arguing against a college education. I'm arguing against the stigma that says if you don't have a college degree you won't be successful. There are too many examples of entrepreneurs, business people who have become both rich and prosperous without a college degree.
There is nothing wrong with my friend that focus and dedication couldn't clear up to make his life success. But as long as he buys into the " can't be successful without a college degree " mindset, he will continue to struggle.
Success is a process, NOT a degree.
What should my friend do to begin his journey towards success? As Glenda the good witch advised Dorothy, just put one foot in front of the other and follow the yellow brick road.
Victor Antonio G.
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Copyright © 2004 by Victor Antonio G. All rights reserved. This article MAY be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, as long as the author’s name, website and email address are included as part of the article’s body. All inquiries, including information on electronic licensing, should be directed to Victor Antonio G.,
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