Smart College Career Move #2: Connect with Your Why


Being smart about college or university is imperative. Four years of college is a long time to stay focused and connected to a single goal. With this amount of time, it’s easy to drift or become distracted. This is why it’s important to do everything you can to remain driven, motivated, and on track. You can do this by staying connected to the why.
Your why is the reason or purpose behind your intention, goal, or vision.

Your why is the rudder that keeps your life, actions, and energy focused and on track. Without a real connection to why you are doing something, you become easily distracted and led farther away from what you want to accomplish.

In the words of Yogi Berra, “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.”

What is important is to connect passion to your why. When your why is something you are passionate about, your connection to it is amplified exponentially. A person motivated by passion will endure just about anything on the way to their goals. Passion is powerful enough to lift your attitude, strong enough to propel you through adversity that would make most people give up, and sobering enough to make you think twice before doing something that might jeopardize your career goals.

For example, if you were pursuing a criminal justice degree, a DUI while you were attending college wouldn’t exactly convey the right message on an application for employment. It was just this blemish that became one of the biggest hurdles for someone I know who was pursuing his life-long dream of becoming an officer with our states Department of Fish and Wildlife. The good news is after relentless efforts to be accepted into the force, he eventually did become one of their best and most decorated officers.

Although money should be an important consideration, if money is the main reason “why” you’ve chosen your current career path, now would be a good time to re-think your strategy and underlying motivation. Money is not a very good motivator over the long haul. If you don’t really passionate about what you are doing, you will love it twelve days a year–on payday–and loath it the other 353 days.

You can only be in a situation you are incongruent with for so long. You might be able to convince yourself that everything is okay, however, it will eventually take its toll on your mental and physical health.
A career motivated by fulfillment (loving it so much you would do it for free), sets the stage for a life filled with great success, achievement, and personal happiness. You might not see it now, however, when you do what you love, success and prosperity eventually follow.

Take the time to become intimately familiar with “why” you are pursuing your career path and whether passion is part of the equation. Any clarity you glean from the time invested will nurture an instinctive awareness of the things you can do along the way to help distinguish yourself from future applicants. One thing is certain, if you aren’t clearly connected to your “why”, you won’t be interested in doing what you’re doing for very long.

About the author:
Michael J. Russ is an international bestselling author, a speaker, and the founder of Zero Adversity™ Training. He is committed to helping others craft the life they envision through the use of concepts, ideas, and life tools he has developed over the last 40 years. His current keynote talks include: Zero Adversity™ in 3 Practical Steps, Smart College Career Moves: What Students Can Do Now to Prepare, Market, and Sell Themselves to Future Employers, and Mastering Your Inner Conversation.

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