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If You Have No Clue What to Do, Maybe Rushing into College Isn’t for You

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Don’t know what you want to do after finishing HS?

There ARE options besides rushing straight into college.

Since most college graduates take on some debt and since most college graduates take more than four years to get their bachelors degree anyway, why treat an expensive decision like college as if it’s something that you won’t have the opportunity to come back around to after one year of doing other constructive things that can lead to self-improvement and self-discovery?

Try a gap year program.

Try an apprenticeship.

Try working for a year.

Spend some time traveling for a year.

Do a couple of mission trips.

Get a part-time job and create a self-directed learning curriculum in your free time.

If college is something you really feel you need to do at the end of that process, it will still be there when you’re done. And with the combination of real-world experience and self-knowledge you’ll have acquired, you might be less likely to waste your time and money when you begin.

Do whatever you want, but don’t buy the lie that college is the only environment for people trying to figure out they want to do with their lives.

If you go to college, go because you genuinely love it and because you have a sense of direction regarding how you intend to use the experience for your own personal growth. Don’t go out of some fear-based belief that you’re going to become some kind of loser just because you’re going in a different direction than the majority.

That’s a bad reason for doing anything.

To hear my rant on why “college give you direction” is a bad argument, check out Episode 3 of my Tour of Bad Arguments below

If You Dream Big Things Only for Yourself, Your Dreaming Is Too Small

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We’ve often heard it said that the way to a better world is a better self, but the reverse is also true.

The way to a better self is through the making of a better world.

Personal development can’t be separated from sociological development or systems development.

That is, it’s not possible to become your best self unless you’re facing up to the challenge of trying to contribute to someone or something other than yourself.¬†Your best self is the one that brings out the best in the people and places that surround you.

Don’t confuse this with a high-sounding message about how you have a moral duty to make the world a better place.

Read it selfishly:¬†Generosity isn’t the opposite of personal ambition. It’s the optimization of personal ambition.

If you only think about yourself, you’re not selfish enough.

The need to only think about yourself arises from a scarcity mindset that closes you off to your own possibilities for abundance.

If you want the best possible life for yourself, you’re likely to grow more and gain more when you look for excuses to make life better for people.

Options are like doors: when you open them for others, you open them for yourself.

 

You’re Not Educated until You Can Make People Better

The best way to produce wholly functional, wholly capable of enhancing life, people is to challenge them to take on real responsibilities that will help them realize how little their education matters if it can’t be translated into creating value and solving problems.

Cliche appeals to helping people become “good citizens” or “well-rounded people” or “lovers of knowledge” breeds nothing more than a spirit of entitled intellectual elitism when we artificially insulate students from the real-world pressure of having to demonstrate the relevance of what they know.

Knowledge is good, but you can’t expect other people to reward you and respect you for your knowledge if you aren’t willing to use your knowledge as a tool to serve them.

The purpose of being educated isn’t to make you feel better than other people. The purpose of being educated is to make yourself better at making other people better.

If You Want to Be Truthful, Build Something (or Someone)

 

There are two types of truths: unpleasant ones and pleasant ones.

When we think of truthful people, we typically think about those who aren’t afraid to tell us about the unpleasant things we need to hear. These are the “facts don’t care about your feelings” types.

But truthfulness also equals “here’s what’s right with my world and this is how I will build on that.”

It’s more than just “I’m bold enough to point out what isn’t working.”

You can’t possibly be a person who keeps it real and tells it like it is if you never express appreciation, hope, and creativity.

Fearless communication isn’t just about having the guts to say “you did a terrible job” or “we’re in a terrible place” or “you’re making a terrible argument.”

It’s also about having the guts to say “I’m grateful for what you’ve done well” or “I believe we can do better” or “I think we’ve found a common ground we can build upon.”

To be honest is to be constructive, not just critical. The courage to complain is not a substitute for the courage to create.

If you want to be truthful, believe in the possibility of a better world and start building it; believe in the possibility of better people and start building them.

Sound the Alarm, Swing the Axe

Photo by Kevin Schmid on Unsplash

If your message can’t be misunderstood, I strongly doubt if it’s any good.

People will beg you to make your philosophy safe, but they’ll hit the snooze button on your ideas as soon as you do.

We complain about alarms, but there’s a reason why we use them to wake ourselves up.

A good idea is one that serves the same function as Kafka’s observation regarding a good book: to “be the axe for the frozen sea within us.”

Don’t make us comfortable. Make us feel alive.

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