We're been conditioned to believe there's one answer to every problem and that there's one very linear path to success in life.
- Take IQ Test and get placed in the right high school
- Score high on SATs and get into a good college
- Get good grades and graduate college
- Graduate cum laude and get a better job.
This is not true. This is one path that works for some, but there is no one 'correct' answer.
Education is an important tool for exposing us to a plethora of subjects and encourages us to pursue that which turns us on. It is not the ONLY tool.
Its not about grades. it's not about financial success. it's not about justifying a massive debt to your parents. it's about finding and growing your passions that will help you lead a fulfilled life.
During Q&A last year, a senior commented: “But that’s not FAIR. You’ve had all this experience so of course you’re talented and able to get a job” Basically saying “Nobody gave me a hobby! Nobody assigned me a passion!”
- What aspects of your personality help define you?
Creative? Analytical? Logical? Social? Friendly?
- What aspects of your personality inhibit you? Stubborn, Lazy, ADD, ….
- Find things that maximize your defining personality traits and minimize your inhibiting properties
- Meyers-Briggs personality test is a good place to start to think about your tendancies
- Which activities are you naturally skilled? Which activities are you drawn towards? More importantly, Why?
- These activities are a moving target. Available careers/hobbies/outlets might be gone or revised tomorrow.
- St. Francis College ad campaign: “My Dream is to Become a Nurse”. No it's not, but perhaps your dream is to help people.
- From Tiger Mother — 2 paths to success:
“[Tiger Mother] approach is based on extrinsic motivation. Children must do exactly what they are told to do, and they must not be happy unless an external authority gives them praise and admiration.”
- Support from others is essential in order to be successful, but that shouldn't be the primary driver
- Education is primarily an extrinsic motivator. If you're getting good grades, you're good. If you're not, you're bad.
Talk is cheap. Once you have a direction, jump headfirst into it. Too many people hold out for the "right time" to make a move.
Don't confine yourself to the established process. There's no need to work for a large studio in Hollywood to make movies.
Make sacrifices in order to do what you love.
Taylor is a talented geologist, but he's had a passion for ceramics since he was young. While he enjoys geology, ceramics excites him like nothing else. He was discouraged from pursuing it as a career because of the "starving artist" stereotype. Now he's looking for ways to reconnect with his passion.
Just because you're good at something and its comfortable doesn't mean you should do it your whole life. Comfort is important, but potential is more important.
- "Creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value" - Ken Robinson
- Everyone is creative, despite our "right-brained, left-brained" conditioning. Creativity != artist.
- "...our educational system emphasizes spoon-feeding us knowledge, such as scientific tables or historical information, and then testing us in order to measure how much we've retained about that body of knowledge, rather than teaching us how to create knowledge." -Peter Sims
How we apply our creativity changes over time. We play multiple roles throughout our lives: student, professional, friend, citizen, parent, offspring, etc.
The pace of life is getting quicker every day, so our ability to adapt our creativity and passions is increasingly important in order to be successful and happy.
- It's not about what you know, it's about knowing how to find the right answer
- We have computers in our pockets
- Increasingly-smaller world
- Twitter - there's a conversation happening about anything you're interested in
- Follow industry leaders, world leaders, thinkers, peers and more, take part in what their right now
- Can be a passive observer or active conversation participant.
- Meetup groups, Twitter, Facebook groups, forums, blogs, Quora, etc, etc, etc
- Valuable channels for mentorship, friendship, discussion, sharing ideas, collaboration
- Low Barrier of Entry. Flips, iPhones, DSLR, open source software, pirated software, etc.
- Tech becoming braindead simple: Tumblr, Flickr, Vimeo, Etsy
- High Level of Connectivity - Mobile, IM, Twitter, Facebook, Xbox Live, Group Chat
- Now easier now ever to pursue your passion
- 60% of Apple’s profit from products that didn’t exist 3 years ago
- Kids learn how to use the Web before they than can tie their shoes
- Need to know yourself and adapt your passions to the current environment, while thinking ahead to the future.