I’ve been watching this fascinating interview on The School of Greatness podcast featuring the Black Mamba himself, Kobe Bryant. Right in the beginning, he said one of the most important lines that resonated with me. My paraphrased version:
Yes, you can do anything you want — the world is your oyster — but you have to put in the work it takes to get there.
I think our generation has grown up with the belief that we can do anything we want if we put our minds to it. And that’s exactly why we’re growing up mentally crippled. That’s why it’s so hard for us to make a decision, whether that’s to choose a major in college, or decide whether or not to do the more rewarding activity over Netflix and video games.
We don’t like commitment because if we can do anything we want, we feel like we’re closing the door on something potentially greater.
I mean the grass is greener on the other side, right?
Because what we’ve grown up with is this mindset that 1) we don’t know what we want, 2) something amazing is out there, 3) the options are endless, and 4) you only get to taste the benefits of those things by working hard at it.
Most people don’t want to work hard at one thing and spend years on it, because what if it turns out that you find something better? What if it’s not your thing after all? This thought is scary to feel like you’ve wasted time. So instead of hypothetically wasting time, we choose to intentionally waste time instead, with guaranteed entertainment because we know for at least that instant, we won’t be miserable during that episode of Game of Thrones.
I think the solution that the current generation wants is the ability to test a lot of careers out, for the most minimal amount of time, so they can determine the thing they want to do the most.
Sadly, college claims to be this solution.
But when’s the last time a college actually let students test out what it’s like to actually have a career in the field they want to test out? Students spend most of their time in classrooms never working a day in their field except the few who get internships.
There must be a better solution to keep people engaged mentally, while also giving them the opportunity to make money and actually gain experience in the field they want to get into.
Because although the world may be our oyster, we must put in the hard work it takes to get there. We can’t be sitting in a classroom all day.