how your education and lifestyle keep you from changing

I thought this was an interesting 5-minute interview. I’ve listened to longer interviews with Vitale and I’ve concluded that although I might not like everything he does, he certainly seems to have his head screwed on right.

I spent some time looking for inspirational videos and music and whatnot over the last couple of days. I’ve been struggling with my client – in case that wasn’t obvious through my posts – and I think a lot of employees face these moments. I am not even an employee but I have times when I grasp the desk and wonder if I can grit my teeth through one more inane meeting.  Since I don’t have any long-term investment in the company, being patient with the fingernails-on-the-blackboard tenor of these meetings can be a challenge.

Two topics came up at work today: first, I opined that far too many of us (meaning corporate citizens) were planning on working until we die, with the odd luxury auto and plasma TV to console us along the way, and advertising and peer pressure combine to make us think this is normal.  Second, a co-worker expressed the idea that I’ve had before – namely, that a gargantuan and pervasive marketing push by higher education in America has convinced everyone that a college education is the be-all, end-all of the universe. I’m not so sure, as I’ve pointed out before, that being a college graduate is really worth it.  These two trends result in an overwhelming pressure on young people to get educations they can’t afford and then to remain stuck in jobs they don’t want to pay for those educations (and those luxury auto/plasma TV doodads).  Even if their educations are paid off, many people are afraid of “wasting” their education on a non-prestigious (i.e. non-corporate) job.  I think that most inspirational/motivational videos and books are aimed squarely at these people:  people who went too far down the path of the 9-to-5 life and are now looking for ways to get out of it.

Inspirational media has a comforting sameness, for the most part – everyone can accomplish everything, and the only sin is a lack of desire.  The one thing most inspirational videos fail to realize is that most people are deeply conflicted between realizing their spiritual/emotional/mental/physical potential and simply scraping by on the path of least resistance.  Knowing how to pull yourself out of settling for mediocrity is not easy for most of us.  Knowing that we should is something most of us need to start thinking about and learning, today.