Blog 21.9

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Our next blog, A Tribe of Mentors, by Timothy Ferriss, details a period in Ferriss’s life when he was questioning himself and the direction he was headed. He discusses how a “fork in the path” led him to ask himself the most important question of “What would this look like if it were easy?”  This one question sparked the idea of creating a group of mentors to guide him.  He sent 11 duplicate questions to a wide variety of successful people with different backgrounds.  Many people didn’t respond to his request, but many did, and Ferriss compiled the answers into a 569 page book!

The eighth question Ferriss asked everyone was: 

“What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real” world”?  What advice should they ignore?

Actor Joel McHale and famous skateboarder Tony Hawk, along with numerous other mentors in the tribe, emphasized the importance of pursuing your interests/dreams over the chase of money.  McHale states “Don’t just do the thing that people expect you to do or go for the money.  That might work out for a while, but you will harbor some serious resentment as you get into your 40’s if you do that.”  He adds “Be a good wife/husband/mom/dad/friend.”  Hawk says “Success should not be measured by financial gain; true success is doing something you love for a living.”  We think this advice is important as you start to consider which career path you want to pursue.

Now, you might be thinking, “but what if I don’t know what I am passionate about?”  World Champion Obstacle Course racer Amelia Boone says “If you are struggling to figure out where you are headed in life or what you are passionate about, pay attention to the activities, ideas, and areas where you love the process, not just the results or the outcome…look for something where you love the process and the results will follow.” 

Olympic swimmer Dara Torres challenges us to embrace being at the bottom of the totem pole and working our way up.  She believes it’s not a bad thing because you have nowhere to go but up.  This applies to your chosen career path as well as your current role as a student-athlete.  You might be used to being “at the top of the totem pole” and the adjustment to being the rookie can be difficult.  Embrace your role while still striving to improve to better your role every day. 
So, pay attention to your intrinsic interests, pursue these interests, and work your way up into a position of success!

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