I recently had the opportunity to speak to a group of students at the university where I coach hockey. I was asked to talk about leadership, finding your passion, and figuring out how to live after graduation when you can't find a job. I wasn't really sure what the format of the presentation was going to be, but it ended up being a great conversation that covered many different topics. I wanted to briefly summarize a few of the main points that I made during my talk.
- A college degree doesn't equal a job: I thought that because I was a top 10 high school student and a 3.97 GPA college student a teaching job would fall into my lap. It didn't. Instead, I took my seemingly narrow degree (social studies secondary education) and applied the skills I developed at school to a new activity, blogging. Going through the classes and getting good grades isn't enough. You need to find a passion (or passions) and pursue them on your own time.
- You get to decide what matters to you and what doesn't: Just because most people buy a new car with a pay raise or buy the largest home they can barely afford doesn't mean you have to as well. Just because most people don't cook at home and are content spending thousands of dollars a year eating out doesn't mean you have to as well. You are the master of your attention, money, and focus. Figure out what actually matters to you and spend as much of your time and resources doing that. Everything else? Do what you have to do to get by but don't feel like you need to follow the crowd.
- We all get 24 hours in our days: The difference between people is the way in which those hours are used: Abraham Lincoln had 24 hours in his day. Albert Einstein had 24 hours in his day. Why are some people so much more successful and productive than others? There are a ton of different factors at play (obviously) but the bottom line is that we're all working with the same limitations. You decide how you want to use the time you've been given.
- You can either reduce your wants or increase your income: I've found it's much easier to reduce my wants: Both have the same effect of helping you live below your means. However, unchecked wants seem to have a way of always outstripping income. If you can reduce the amount of stuff that you desire you can free up a ton of money to do some really awesome things. For example, you can work part time while pursuing your passion (like I'm doing). You could save your money and travel the world or give yourself a number of other amazing experiences.
I'm very thankful for the opportunity to get to speak about some of the ideas and concepts that I've been writing about for a long time now. I hope this is only the first of many, many forays into public speaking on this topic.
Living a conscious life is an important message and if you agree, I hope you find the work I do here inspirational.If you do, please consider sharing my work with a friend so we can help people live healthier, more conscious, and more meaningful lives together.