Put your hand up if you ever looked at somebody and been jealous of them. If your hand isn’t up, you probably just didn’t want to listen to some weird blogger. Or you’re a liar, because who on earth hasn’t been?
You could be a business student looking at Elon Musk, a basketball player looking at Stephen Curry, or just a single girl looking at your married friend. Two things are prevalent in that situation; they’re where they want to be, you aren’t, and you don’t know why.
It’s actually pretty simple – they knew what they wanted.
This sounds acutely simple, doesn’t it? All you need to do to get what you want out of life is to know “what” it is. Basically, I’m of the belief that if you are clear enough in your objectives, the “how” will fall into place somehow. No, I’m not turning this article or blog into a seminar by E, the Hip-Hop Preacher.
If you want to be successful, think like Alexander Graham Bell. Click the link, read the fourth quote. Better yet, read them all on your iPhone. You may or may not believe that we are the evolution of tiny bacteria from a really, really long time ago. But what AGB did in the 19th century was for damn sure the origin of why you and your friends are taking selfies at dinner.
And the secret is that you’ve got to be honest with yourself. I had multiple friends who wanted to go to Law school and killed themselves in undergrad to get good grades and volunteer with their right societies to get the right things on their resume. There’s nothing wrong with that. Yet some of them ended up unhappy with their career choice.
Look, before your roll your eyes and say, “Well, yeah, they wanted to be lawyers, what did they expect?”. They had good plans and good intentions, just not genuine or realistic intentions. Their reasons for wanting to be lawyers were highly varied, yet the result was the same.
The guy wanted to be a corporate lawyer for money didn’t realize that they’re not actually that rich because they were working 100 hours a week and can’t actually spend any of it with anyone they care about. The girl who wanted to be an environmentalist lawyer realized that $40,000 working for a non-profit is not realistic when they have $150,000 of law school debt. The people who wanted to be a prosecutor didn’t realize that you aren’t some hero taking down Jack McCoy every day. Finally, defence lawyers didn’t realize wearing cool suits like Harvey Specter isn’t cool when they couldn’t stomach the idea of defending a rapist.
(Sorry I picked on lawyers, I know many people want to practice and would make capable lawyers…WHO CAN BE HAPPY. There’s just a good amount who wouldn’t be, and don’t realize it. Like many other careers or life choices!)
Building your life is a little like working out. It’s common knowledge among bodybuilders that you can out-eat a bad training regimen, but you cannot out-train a bad diet. Both are essential to building muscle, yet one is more indispensable than the other. If you have good goals, it’s not the end of the world if your methods to achieve them aren’t perfect. But if you have bad goals, no matter how perfect your plan, you will not achieve what you ultimately want.
Look at your goals right now and ask yourself, “Why do I want this?”. Then, if you find your reason is disingenuous, get rid of it or re-work it. You have all of college, and really all your life to figure out what you want. It’s never too late to be honest and diligent with yourself and find out what’s important to you and how you’re going to get there.