Originally Posted by Radical
@copla: Nice philosophy, however if it was merely a matter of realising you're going to die, and that right now you're wasting what precious time you have left, then no one would lack motivation or have depression etc, because we all know that! It is common knowledge that we won't live forever.
Also, you say that there is no point in getting a degree if you don't know how you will use it. I disagree; college/university is an excellent experience regardless of whether you actually end up using the degree or not. I mean what else would you do with those 3 years? Get a mediocre job and work your way up the ladder, so you can buy a house, a new car etc? If you don't know what road in life you want to take, then it doesn't really matter what road you take, as long as you don't stand there pondering your life away because you can't decide which road to take.
As human beings we are not entirely in control of our thouhts - we have emotions and fears etc. So whilst your you only live once so don't have any fears philosophy is a good outlook to have on life, it is unrealistic. If it was that simple personal development wouldn't exist.
The truth is most of us don't know what we want, what makes us happy, or why we are doing what we're doing? We are doing the best we can to look for answers, so we can live our lives in the best way possible. At the end of the day, we're all just doing the best we can with what we have.
Isn't that the challenge of personal development, though? To gain control over your emotions and fears in order that you may live into your future and accomplish your Vision and Ideal? One of my other favorite Jim Rohn quotes is, success is applying common knowledge uncommonly. While everyone realizes that they are going to die, most people do no fully recognize, grab by the horns, and apply the concept in their lives to their own benefit... it's something scary in the future they don't like to think about. While most people intellectually realize that they will not live forver, they plan their lives and act out their days as if they would. How else would you explain people who don't save, piss away college years on booze and dozens of random hookups, and accept mediocrity as their lot in life?
As for a degree, well, that's definitely a completely individual choice, like all things, but from my perspective if you were to work four years for a degree in a field you may or may not wish to pursue a career in, and then run over walking away from the graduation ceremony, would feel like your life had been a success? Would you be happy with what you had accomplished, or would you be left asking yourself why you had waited four years to begin your adult life in earnest? Most people go to college because it's what's expected of them, not because they've decided that it's absolutely necessary to achieve their Ideal and Vision. If you're a doctor, do you need college? Of course! If you're a lawyer do you need college? Undoubtedly. But what about a writer? It seems pretty backwards to suggest to a writer that what they REALLY need to succeed as a writer and improve their skills is to talk about writing in assignments that may or may not benefit them, spend hours and hours in completely unrelated courses, and write to an individual teacher rather than an audience at large. It seems more straightforward to simply write, write about everything, everyone, look for a job in writing, a foot in the door, anything, and in those four years work your ass off and constantly press yoruself to push your **** to the next level.
Lots of people I know in college are getting a Real Estate degree, all the while, while they're completing busy work and getting piss drunk, there are plenty of people out there who dived right on in, went to established real estate companies and secured a job by showing that they had great character, and attractive personality, were excited to work hard, and learn everything they could. Same goes for things like loan officers, I had the opportunity of speaking with an individual who at 45 runs a very successful loan and financing business, I asked him what his thoughts were on college degrees- he said he likes them, and it looks good on a resume, but if someone comes in who shows him that they want to work hard and learn everything they can, and seem to have the personality to make it happen, he'll hire them and teach them everything they need to know. And, in his words, no loan officers in his office make under 100k/year, as if they do, they're terrible at their job, and won't hold it very long.
As for things like trading stocks and futures, that comes down to practice and a personal education- not a certificate. No one cares about your degree if at the end of the day you're down money while a college drop-out is consistently up, the scorecard is your equity at the end of the day, not how many degrees you've amassed.
Obviously, those are just a few professions, but for them, in many cases a degree would be a waste. In those cases, you'd get far more value for that period of your life (which you will never get back!) by actually diving in and working. This, naturally, necessitates having a plan and sticking to it- which requires you to create your Ideal in your mind and make a plan to get there.
I think the concept of "If you don't know what road in life you want to take, then it doesn't really matter what road you take, as long as you don't stand there pondering your life away because you can't decide which road to take." is a dangerous one, as you just cannot delay with these things. You can't put off a book like As a Man Thinketh another day, someone tells you it'll change your life as my mentor told me, you better order that book and get to reading! When someone tells me about a book that will change my life, I order it on Amazon with free two-day shipping through Prime, and read it the minute it arrives. I drop all other books I'm reading, because a life-changing book just can't wait. You don't have time to wait. If you put it off until tomorrow, you don't know if it'll happen. You might put it off again, and again. You can't decide to wait until tomorrow to make a plan of action, by then you might already be missing unique opportunities! I mean, there's two philosophies there, the philosophy of action, and the philosophy of procrastination. One leads to success, one to failure. I'm simplifying, but I honestly don't think this stuff is that complicated- you make a plan, you figure out what daily disciplines you need to get there, and you execute day in and day out on those disciplines.
As for thoughts, there's two philosophies there as well- one says that through practice, a personal education, journaling, intelligent distinctions, and daily discipline you can utilize your thoughts to better yourself in every way. You control your thoughts, and your thoughts control your actions, your actions control your lot in life. Change your thoughts, change your life... which is, pretty much, the message of As a Man Thinketh.
Concerning the end of your post, "At the end of the day, we're all just doing the best we can with what we have", I think that's also a very dangerous philosophy. It's the philosophy of, well, this is all I have now so I'll just have to make do. A far more powerful philosophy is, I'm fed up with my current circumstances so I will fashion new circumstances no matter the cost, I will fulfill the necessary disciplines, I will do everything necessitated to bring about my Ideal and Vision. It is the philosophy that you can do anything, that you can change the world, that you can be the next success story, you can be the next rags to riches stories, you can be a millionaire this time next year, you can change your lot in life, and, most of all, that you, and only you, control your future. You will be somewhere in five years, the question is, where?