Do What You Love
The more you learn about things you're interested in, the more fresh and fun ideas you'll have to mull over in your pursuit of your Core Desires. You'll continually be looking for things to help you be a better parent, salesperson, businessperson, doctor, lawyer, accountant, or PR person. You'll enjoy learning constantly, and you'll discover many benefits.
I know a twelve-year-old boy who can tell you the batting averages of all the professional baseball players, yet he can't recite the names of the four types of clouds that move across our skies. Because he thoroughly enjoys baseball-virtually living, eating, and sleeping it-his constant involvement and immersion in the sport have led him to know a lot about it. And since he isn't interested in clouds, he's never made an effort to learn about them. Regardless of how well his teachers have taught him, the concept holds no interest for him.
My own son struggled with his grades in high school. He thought that he must not be very disciplined or smart, even using the term lazy to describe himself. He had a negative self-paradigm regarding learning and discipline, and he gave himself those labels. His grades were the evidence that these labels were accurate. Yet when it came to learning extensive parts for a school play in a short period of time, he excelled.
When the lead in an upcoming school play was suddenly unable to continue, my son was asked to take his part. The other fellow had four months to learn his lines, and my son had just three weeks. Not only did he learn his lines and perfect his role, he excelled at both. This was ample and undeniable evidence that he was both smart and disciplined- and that doing what he loved made it possible. He had to admit that he was smart, and if he wanted to do something badly enough, the discipline was there.
We are all the same way-we lose interest and don't perform at peak levels if we're not thoroughly engaged. The more interactions you have with others, the more learning experiences you will have, and the more successful you will be in all areas of your life. You'll be happier, too. All this will only happen as a result of learning about your Core Desires.
Learning, or the lack thereof, has a dramatic impact on all areas of life. By focusing on the things you want to learn about, you can enjoy continuous learning. Many students either drop out of college or flunk out because they are studying things that they have little or no interest in. Often students buy into the idea that their parents, friends, relatives, or counselors know what's best for them. Maybe they have been told they should become a doctor because their dad was a doctor. Or maybe their mother has said she'd like an attorney in the family. Most advice from well-meaning people is not necessarily wrong, but it is not applicable, as it doesn't factor in the students' Core Desires.
One individual I know was sent to college by his parents, although he didn't really want to go. He was happy with his life, but he faced a big adjustment when all his friends left for college. His father was a factory worker, his mother stayed at home. His dad ran a small evergreen nursery for side income and decided his son should major in landscape architecture so he could join the business upon graduation.
My friend muddled along, but the more he looked into landscape architecture, the less he liked it. Higher math was involved, and he hated the subject. Botany and entomology were required, and he barely passed. Finally he discovered that his Core Desire was to become a journalist. In his mind, it boiled down to changing majors, dropping out, or risk flunking out.
He dreaded telling his parents about his desire to switch majors, but when he finally did, they surprised him by telling him that Journalism was a fine major. They were really telling him that their Core Desire was for him to get a college education.
Thousands of college students switch their majors several times before finally selecting a field they feel, in their heart, is right for them. Their decisions may look like whims on the surface, but they could be something much deeper-the belated discovery of their own Core Desires. Most students follow desires that may register only a 60 to 90 on their Core Desire Scale-and as long as there are no barriers, they proceed on their merry way. But once they come to a hurdle, like a lack of interest or too much homework, they reassess their situation or quit. The lucky ones find and pursue their Core Desire until graduation. The others-if they stay on-either change majors again and again, continuing to muddle through and barely pass, or complete a degree that is easy to get or not one they expect to get a job with. Wouldn't it be great if everyone could identify their Core Desires before going to college, or at least within the first year? Just think how much time and money would be saved.
The secret to having a happy life, of which learning is an integral part, is to do what you really love and enjoy. This way, you'll achieve a high level of satisfaction in all areas of your life-at the same time. Others have done it, and there's no reason you can't do so as well. Ongoing change makes continuous learning vital and essential, and learning can be very fun and profitable.
By Jack M. Zufelt
"Mentor To Millions