Dear College Kid,
I wanted to take a moment and write you a letter that will likely not make much sense in your current season of life, but please hold on to this letter and reflect on it over the next couple years.
First, you will graduate and you will struggle to get a job; let alone a job that fits what you thought you would do for a living. All the jobs you dreamed of having are tenure jobs that are held up by old “gray hairs” that won’t move on until they have enough money in the bank to retire or die. Don’t worry you will likely do the same thing in your old age; it’s the cycle of life. If you’re patient and persistent for the next 25 years you might land one of those jobs. The fact is after college unless your parents hook you up with a job you’re a bottom feeder in this world. You’re an infant, a baby, a no experience useless tool that has spent the past sixteen years of your life proving you can memorize information out of textbooks. Your greatest asset will be your heart, your desire, your will to achieve your lifelong vision.
Having that vision is important, but once you have it being able to get there is an entirely different characteristic that many lack. Too often people expect their visions and dreams to simply happen, but expecting something will never get you to your vision.
I understand you wanted that corner office right out of college, I understand you wanted six figures right out of college, but that was just a dream. Your dream is your vision, but your motor to get you there is your internal motivation. Motivation is the tool that is called upon to lift you up when your down, keep you going when it’s hard, remind you why you want that vision and more. Unfortunately, not everyone is motivated. Most people don’t know how to channel their motivation and often miss success due to being all over the place with where they apply the effort. Have one vision! Have one goal! Exhaust all your resources to achieve that one goal!
If you truly want what you say you want you will have a chip on your shoulder. This saying is one that means you have a grudge, a grievance, or you have been provoked by someone or something. Think about this. No one gets a chip on their shoulder by someone saying nice things to them, by getting everything they desire handed to them, or by being passive. If it’s the system you have a grievance with let it fuel you. If its someone in your past that broke your heart, hurt your feelings, embarrassed you; then hold on to that pain and use it. Keep that chip on your shoulder and channel these moments when you’re tired, when you’re about to give up perusing your dream, or when you feel you’re losing in this rate race we call life, pull these moments together to keep your fire lit. Pull from within and every day take one step forward toward your vision. Stay steadfast as you will fall down, rebound on days you get pushed backward, but stay the course.
Though you’re in the real world now keep that childish fire lit, continue chasing the dream, but just understand it will be harder than you expected to achieve. Success is hard work though many play it off like they achieve it with little effort. Understand the journey you are about to embark on. Understand no one will feel sorry for you in the real world or hand you opportunity without sacrifice. Mom and Dad are not responsible for you any longer. Be humble, be charismatic, be reserved, be outgoing, and learn to blend into crowds all while being motivated from within. The only thing people can see is your exterior. They cannot see your heart, see your mind, or understand how hot the flame is inside you from that chip on your shoulder. Harness the energy and use it wisely. Only allow people to see what you want them to see.
Mark Twain once said, “What work I have done I have done because it has been play. If it had been work, I shouldn’t have done it.”
Mark Twain was an idiot. Work is not meant to be fun and success was not meant to just happen.
“Good things don’t happen to good people. Good people make good things happen.” – Dru Riess
Go make it happen and perhaps you have a chance to reach your utopia at a younger age then most do; if at all.
*Proceeds from The Conversation Event benefit The Mobile Book Library for Homeless kids and families.