In “Batman Begins,” Alfred Pennyworth said, “Why do we fail sir? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.”
You might be one of the many people that feel like failure is afoot or you’re stuck in a career rut. If you fall into this category, then you must listen to this hilarious and witty Ted.com Talk by Larry Smith, a professor of economics at the University of Waterloo in Canada. It’s called “Why You Will Fail to Have a Great Career,” and it’s worth the 15 minutes of time to watch it.
His talk is about focusing on building a great career, not just settling for a good one. In fact, he humorously states that there is a huge supply of good jobs, calling them “soul destroying types of jobs.” Haha.
His only order of business is to convince you to pursue your passion and dreams in order to find a great career.
He says that we derail ourselves by making excuses for why we can’t get to where we want to be. Like people that find great careers just do it out of luck, great careers are for special people, or how about the excuse that people who pursue their passions are weirdo’s, strange, and live in a state of madness. I find this so entertaining. But let’s be honest, we all do make excuses when we’re afraid to try something new or explore uncharted territory.
According to the Pew Research Center, over 50% of American’s are not satisfied with their jobs. With this stat, we can assume that many or more of those same people haven’t arrived at a career that they believe to be great.
Smith suggests that we change our thinking from what interests us, to things that we truly love. We have to seriously look for alternatives to reach our destinies and that involves change and choice.
He asks his audience to think about what they want to see on their tombstone and we can all agree that we don’t want it to remind people that we were just satisfied with our lives. Rather, we want it to say that we achieved our highest expression of talent.
James C. Collins, the author of the book “Good to Great” said it very well, “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline. Good is the enemy of great.”
We can’t miss out on our opportunities because of the paralyzing fear of the unknown. Think about talking to your kid, a loved one, or a friend. Do you want to say, “I had a dream too…but I didn’t realize it.” Or would you rather be able to give the advice, “Got for it, just like I did.”
The thought of “If only I had…” is painful and in the end will hurt a lot. Smith concludes his presentation with the word “unless.” And he prompts the audience to think, I could fail, I could disappoint myself, I could strive for mediocrity, or I can say, “unless.” And that means, unless, I do something, right now, I won’t be able fulfill my true passion.
Remember what Dr. Suess said in his writing of “The Lorax.” “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”