Friday, October 22, 2010

Degree or No Degree? That is the Question.

   My good friend Steve Maher brought up a great point in conversation. He suggested that I get a degree in Psychology so that more doors will open in the field that I enjoy, which is empowering others to move beyond struggle so they may begin to live a wonderful life. I agree with him completely, doors would open up if a degree were in my hands; the value in a degree is immeasurable. But it inspired this question in me which I would like to pose to all of you. Do you feel that you need a degree to begin living your life’s passions? Should you wait for that degree to begin doing what you love?
   To be clear, Steve does believe that you should begin living your dreams regardless if you have a degree or not.  He simply feels that a degree may make that vocation easier to facilitate. This is quite true. A degree is not an easy thing to acquire though and the difficulty in getting one often scares people away from doing what they love. I am not saying that because a thing is difficult we should fear it, but it is often the case. The truth is, if you are compelled to do something it should be done by you whether it is challenging or not. But also for the thing to be done we should not wait for a piece of paper to permit our doing it. We can begin now by first imagining doing it, buying and reading as many books on the subject as we can, visiting and meeting people and going places where the thing we love is being done, and actually doing it if we feel ready. All the while we could be attending school if what we want requires it, but nothing of value requires waiting.
   I love writing! No I am not an English major, nor do I have a degree in English. Does this mean I don’t have the right to spill my guts on paper, or in my blogs? Blogs would never have been created if experts only were allowed to put pen to page. We can do whatever we want even if what we want doesn’t make logical sense to the examiners and critics out there waiting to judge. How much happiness can there be in life if everything you look at must meet a certain standard in order to be enjoyed?
   A piece of paper can never define the worth of a person. In three seconds a match can turn it into smoke and dust. It is from within that all the goodness comes. Begin being who you are now! This does not mean you shouldn’t go for the paper, but waiting for it to begin fueling the passion inside of you will extinguish that flame.
   I would enjoy your thoughts on this:  Do you feel that you need a degree to begin living your life’s passions? Should you wait for that degree to begin doing what you love? You know my opinion, I would love to hear yours!


  1. Ah.... yes.... degree or no degree. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this blog. Why? Because I struggled with this question for ten years. I DO NOT feel that having a degree should be what defines you. You should be defined by experience, passions in life, Etc. I was struggling with where I wanted to go in life. I jumped from career to career and even studied many different things. I had a few job opportunities which were out of my reach due to not having a degree, although I DID have more than enough experience. So, my answer to your question: Do you feel that you need a degree to begin living your life’s passions? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Dig in! Start living and pursuing your passions RIGHT AWAY! I graduated in 2009 with my bachelor's degree and the only thing that helped me make it through was the fact I was already doing a job I loved and would receive a promotion upon completion of the degree. So, all in all, the degree just shows that you have taken the time and commitment to become a more well-rounded individual with study and focus in specific areas of interest. A degree does not say who you are and where you've been and doesn't even necessarily say what you've done, but it does open up more opportunities. I've hired people with a degree who have known very little about the job they were supposed to have studied to do. I have also hired people who have not studied but just naturally had a "knack" for a specific thing. I'd rather have a person who has the "knack" than the piece of paper. There are those who have the knack and because of it they push forward and learn more and study and happen to have the paper too, but only because of their initial passion. LIVE LIFE PASSIONATELY! ALWAYS LEARN NEW THINGS! CHALLENGE HELPS US GROW!