Apt Words From Jeff Pulver as We Approach Graduation
I’m a few weeks away from graduating college. As you can imagine (or are experiencing yourself right now), my entire life is in flux. It’s as exciting as it is completely scary.
Tonight when I got home from class, I logged into Facebook and noticed that Jeff Pulver posted a new note about “Discovering Your Life Major.” Jeff is one of those guys (and I’m sure most of you reading this post are already tuned into this fact) who has an uncanny knack of galvanizing you to build a life guided completely by your passions. His words in this note had the same effect. I loved it so much and wanted to share it here with you. Thanks for writing a note that was particularly nice to read today Jeff! (I wish you were our commencement speaker!)
Ever since I started a discussion about a “Life Majors” in late November, 2007, I have enjoyed reading the conversations that this topic has generated.
I remain amazed how at a young age, just about everyone who attends university in the United States has to pick a major and make it their core focus for the time they spend at university. How does anyone at 18 or 20 know what it is that they really want to do for the rest of their lives? In fact, there are quite a number of people I know who are 35-40 years old who don’t know what they want to be doing for the rest of their lives. And I wonder how many of us who went to university and got a degree for one speciality actually decided to stay in the business sector of our chosen profession 10 or 15 years after university? As far as I can tell, not many.
Yes going to university offers us the chance to mature, take on responsibility, to be social and if we are lucky to learn a thing a two. And in my book there is a big difference between “learning” and “studying.” From my own personal experience, things that I learned in school, I still know today. And things that I just studied I never really knew. I just didn’t realize it at the time when I was going to school.
While I was in high school, I started a DJ entertainment company and I started my first computer consulting company. And both generated a source of revenue while in High School and while I was going to college. And while I graduated with an accounting degree, in less than two years after college, I discovered my first life major and it wasn’t in accounting. I made the decision to start a software company and ended up spending the next seven years focusing on the world of spreadsheets (Lotus 1-2-3), real-time market data and fixed-income securities. While I never studied Calculus in college (or high school) I ended up teaching myself the math I needed in order to feel comfortable developing @ functions that did a lot of complex math which was needed when working with fixed-income securities.
And whether you discover your life major in high school, university or some time afterwards, it is up to you to find your passion and turn that passion into your profession. And the act of discovering your life major isn’t an easy one. But only you know what you are passionate about and only you can make the decision to follow your heart and follow your head and empower yourself to turn your passion into your chosen profession.
In the end, it all comes down to you. You can’t outsource your future. You are responsible to yourself. One of the most liberating feelings you can experience is to discover your Life Major and do something about it.
And one day you make wake up and ask yourself…how did I get here? :)
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