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Notice I didn’t say “at”

The most important thing I’ve learned is it’s the person I am- not my skills, not my degree, not my past work experience- that define my trajectory in life.

I went to a social entrepreneurship conference today, and someone remarked that post BA education is essentially about buying confidence. Another panelist remarked that it’s up to you to decide whether that degree is worth the investment and to make your own destiny.

I don’t tend to sit idly by waiting for opportunity to come. I think the remark about buying confidence was pretty dead on. And as far as evaluating the investment, if you are truly open to self-transformation and the world remains an uncertain place (which is a certainty), that’s a tough one. [Administrators clearly know more than prospective students, and this asymmetry information coupled with the tendency  to be trusting as part of the relationship as a student clearly gives the higher ed complex a  leg up in the game. It’s hard to be a sophisticated consumer, especially when you feel like the world is forcing your hand with credential inflational and not great economic opportunities outside of school).

I realize that there were many other paths I could have taken, maybe not to get to this same spot, an dmaybe not all with the glamour of being an MBA candidate (yup, it’s a swanky lifestyle being an overworked graduate student unsure about future financial health yet seeming like you have it all figured out to those people who still believe in the three letters to go after your name), but I would have figured something out. ANd I’ll figure something out now. Even without a long term goal, maybe.

Though business school is supposed to teach about how to make decisions and lead in positions of ambiguity, I feel like they haven’t done a good job in my case…

But I will say, it’s not the school, not the brand, not the GPA- it’s my personal qualities that will get me somewhere.

Steve Jobs seems to have been just as hard driving and crazy out of the box before becoming the Steve Jobs we lionize. It was probably really hard, and success was far from certain. We love to talk about emulating him, and innovation, and entrepreneurship, but very few people actually succeeded.

And success, while to a certain extent is a reflection of you taking appropriate actions, also depends ont hings beyond yourself…

The only difference between me and Steve Jobs is that you know his name already, because he was a success. If I understand his commencement speech right, he was just where I was around this point in his life.  The reason why society makes him a hero is that he was a success- the people who go around trying to break the boxes are actually using living more along the fringe, and they are definitely going against the grain.

There’s no real difference between me and people I idolize.

Like Dorothy, I’ve had the magic shoes all along.

Don’t know where they’ll take me, but I do know that I’ll figure it out when I get there.

Namaste and love,

MJ

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