And How to Figure Out Why You're Here Too
I picked up a book from the library called, Hacking Your Education: Ditch the Lectures, Save Tens of Thousands, and Learn More than Your Peers Ever Will. It's kind of obvious from the title what it's about. I've read a few snippets here and there, and one of those snippets was the following exercise below. It's used at a non-profit to help kids who can't get beyond their current environment, and the author offers the exercise as a way to show if college is really necessary for someone's dream job. I think it's a worthwhile exercise to figure out what you really want to do with your life, what you want out of it, and what it might take to get there:
What are You Put on This Planet to Do?
This is to be a verb, always a verb, and just one verb. My verb is: to help.
What are Your 5 Greatest Gifts?
Your five greatest gifts are also verbs, and these verbs support your mission (the original verb above). These verbs help with your purpose, and they're not necessarily your biggest strengths or your strongest skills. My five greatest gifts are:
- To write
- To think
- To represent
- To ask
- To organize
For Each Gift, Come Up with Two Ways that You Could Use it To Add Value to the World
Each way is supposed to be an occupation that uses this gift to add value to the world. Here are my 10 total ways that I can add value with each of my gifts:
- Public Official i.e. State Senator, City Councillor etc.
- Non-Profit Director
- Policy Analyst
- Community Organizer
- Event Planner
Choose One Way, and Come Up with 5 Ways to Fortify the Gift in the Real World
Of the 10 occupations, pick one and come up with five ways to fortify the gift, or to be better at that occupation or that gift. I'm going to choose columnist for this, and here are five ways I can fortify my gift to write so that I could be a columnist (or a better columnist):
- Start a blog
- Pitch the idea to a publication
- Go to an event to write about
- Attend a writing or journalism seminar
- Read a book by a career columnist
From the book's perspective, the point of the exercise is to see if you really needed a college degree to be a columnist, in this case. The answer is no, for the most part, especially since it's so easily to start a blog or to pitch an idea to a publication. You might want to go to college to specialize in a subject i.e. biology, history etc. that would be helpful for the column, or to be able to work on the college newspaper or magazine to improve your writing skills, or even to go to college to start a column about college life. But, all of that's not necessarily going to college to be able to become a college because there isn't anything intrinsic about college that's needed to have a successful weekly column.
Overall, it's a good thing to do to get a sense of direction, and to come up with a few ideas for career choices and pursuing your career choices. It's also a great way to think about what you're good at , what you like to do, and what possibilities may exist that compliment those things. It's not always about going to school, which isn't all that bad because school is expensive and time-consuming.