“Go to school, get a good job, and make a lot of money.”
I grew up in a single-parent home, and like so many youth, I was given that speech at an early age. This was rooted in the hope that I would someday find that dream job and make a lot of money. Like many people, most of my family has struggled financially. So obviously, it was instilled in me to go to school, go to college and eventually score that dream job. Every month had it’s same song, “Bills bills bills”. We all know that song. And our parents do all they can to prepare us for it. They’re solution… “Education and a job”. It seems like a great aspiration, counting the simple fact that money has always been the biggest limiting factor in most of our lives. We figure if we go to school, get a degree or two, get a good paying job, then we’re all set. Start the soundtrack!
And guess what I did?
I followed that advice. Most of us do. I mean, what else can you do when you’re 15 years old. At that age, all you want to do is have fun. You leave all that serious stuff to the adults. As long as you follow their advice and stay in school, things should work out. Shouldn’t they? So I listened and followed the soundtrack. I went to school, I made good grades, I graduated with honors, and I was the first child out of my family and the first grandson out of both sides of my extended family to go to college and graduate. Now, I know you’re probably thinking I should be on my merry way to getting the dream job to make the big bucks.
Not so fast. lol.
My story didn’t play out as perfectly as you think. Something happened while in high school, and especially in college, that dramatically shifted my life trajectory onto a different course. I was exposed to what I would like to call… possibility. Now, before you leave this blog post and label me as some philosophical jerk who listens to Tony Robbins all day, I want you to hear me out. All of this will make sense when you reach the bottom of the page.
Like I said, I was exposed to possibility. What I discovered was that most people have little-to-no clue as to what they’re doing, where they’re going, how they got to where they are, and why. It seems that for most people, we easily follow a way of life without inquiring much about it. We’re told from childhood what we should like, what we should desire, how we should live, what we should do, what we should watch, where we should go, etc. Some of this is helpful, but a lot of it keeps us from thinking for ourselves. And without even thinking, we follow suit. For the most part, we expect life to figure itself out. The sad part is that this happens a lot to college graduates. We spend most of our years as students, resting on the advice we got as children. We expect life to figure itself out. Once we graduate, the job opportunities should follow. But as studies are showing, this isn’t the case for 70% of graduates. Once we step outside of our role as students that we’ve been so accustomed to since pre-school, we’re hit with a reality that’s harder than we imagined. Adulthood.