Towards the end of the summer I was in Texas visiting my best friend and mentor. He lent me a book to read. The book was “What Should I Do With My Life?” by Po Bronson.
To be honest, I had no wish to read that book. From what I read in the title, I thought this was just another book about steps to take to become whoever it is you. This book was the opposite of everything I thought. I do not believe it was a self-help book at all. This was a self-realization book.
Saying this, Po Bronson’s book is not the focus. I would suggest you buy it or check it out from the library or have a mentor that forces the book upon you.
I will analyze the effect that the book had on me from reading it.
I felt like each chapter poked and prodded at all of my weaknesses that need to become strengths. My biggest weakness is quitting. In each chapter, I found something that related to quitting or how quitting can beneficial, etc.
Here is my real problem; I fear quitting!
I never thought those would come out of my mouth, let alone put into a blog.
Thinking back to past and present endeavors, doing whatever I start is not the hard part. The hard part is quitting. Not quitting to quit, but quitting when one knows it is the best decision to make.
The following is an example of when I should not have quit.
Quitting Tae Kwon Do one belt away from black was ignorant. It was the most bullish decision I made during that time. I did not have issues with the school, my parents had it all paid for, my instructors were nice, supportive and helpful, and I had actually made some good friends there. I even have medals from tournaments I participated in! I quit.
If memory serves correctly, I had about six months before I could test for black. My parents were surprised when I decided to quit. Part of me wishes they would have made me stick it out, however at this time, they had begun to allow me to make decisions on my own. This was one of those instances.
In the book there was a chapter about a silver spoon CEO who quit everything to become an officer. After the author’s description of this person and what they do, I could tell that they did it because they loved it.
The following is an example of when I should have quit.
Biology. In a past article, I mention my disdain for Biology in great detail. I have never liked Biology. Pre-school, Elementary, Middle, High, and College. I DON”T LIKE BIOLOGY. Here is the funny part though. I took it in college beginning my sophomore year until what should have been my last year. I must have been crazy. The second semester of that year I decided to take a Biology course. Talk about mistake. I failed three tests, and dropped it so it would not demolish my GPA. That was the best decision I made that semester.
Then the real fun began. I took it again the following fall semester knowing good and well I did not like the subject. I failed again. I salvaged my GPA by dropping it. I had a lot of pressure coming from all sides during this time. My parents, some friends, professors and a few relatives were getting on my nerves. Study harder. Take that course at a different school. Stick it out. Get a tutor.
The extra money I put into that course was disheartening. I’m sure between taking the same course three times, attending study sessions, paying for an extra tutor, and my time and effort could have focused on other things. You live and you learn.
The point is this I didn’t know when to quit and live with that decision.
What I gained from the book is simple.
Asking yourself, what should I do with my life?, is a question to help you expose yourself to what you do and don’t like. Asking yourself this grants you the opportunity to discover your love, your passions and what you don’t like. Asking this questions grants you the chance to get your hands dirty and really figure it out. As well as fail along the way.
I learned that quitting is a good thing. I just have to know when to do so.
Failing is good too. Let’s save this for another day.
Far From Idle