Last year I dropped out of college to come to Shanghai and pursue my dreams. So far things have turned out very well. However, almost everyone older than me tells me that I must finish my college education or else...
I understand that college degree is valuable but I also think that my life will not be determined by a piece of paper as long as I have the right attitude. Is it absolutely necessary I finish school or is it still possible for a motivated individual to make it in this world even without a degree?
According to surveys, of the 1125 billionaires across the world, 73 of them dropped out of school, including Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Sheldon Adelson. Obviously, success does not rely on a piece of paper. Does it mean drop-outs have a higher chance of success?
Sorry, I have to say “Absolutely Not”.
If you take a look of those 73 billionaires’ story, you will find none of them just sat on couch, stopped learning and enjoyed their life by doing nothing. Instead, they learned in another way or worked amazingly hard to make their dream come true.
They dropped out of school in order to focus on learning or doing the things that really brought them passion and joy. I found that they all have some things in common:
- They were very clear about what they wanted, and what they loved to do before they quit school.
- They were very determined and were ready to take many risks in order to realize their dream.
- They trusted their inner voice and were brave to follow it. Their fears were the same as others but they believed in themselves enough and do it anyway.
Back to your situation, Mr. ShanghaiDreamin, I can’t answer your question of whether you should quit school or resume your studies in order to get a “valuable” piece of paper. As, it’s all about you, your answer lies within.
You may ask “But how?” The following questions can help you to gain clarity and find your inner answer:
Why do you want to drop out of school?
Finding the real reasons behind it is very important. For example, wanting to quit just because you didn’t get any acknowledgement from others is very different from wanting to focus your time and energy on doing things you truly love.
If you are very sure that you want to quit but hesitate instead,
ask yourself, what stops you? Why?
Here is a simple exercise that can help you to dig out what the real reasons holding you back are: Keep asking yourself the same question “what will the worst thing happen if I choose to…?” Then ask yourself if you can take that chance/risk.
Okay, if you are sure that you will quit,
here are still few more questions for you:
- Are you clear about what you want to do with your heart and soul?
- Are you determined to do anything to achieve your dream anyway?
- Are you strong enough to follow your heart regardless of what others say (especially those you care about most)?
Many times, it’s easy to listen to the voices that are supposed to care about us, guide us, and then we get so distracted by looking for immediate answers. Fortunately, the truth is… the answer is already there--in your heart. Relax and smile, listen to that inner voice deep inside you, and take action!
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