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From day one, we are confined to a box. Before the age old, “what do you do?” question, it was,”what do you want to do with your degree?” and before that, “what do you want to do when you grow up?” as if these could possibly define the entirety of who you are. More than annoying, this question subconsciously creates a framework of how we view ourselves, and the expectations we are supposed to have.

The Problem

1. You lose sight of what’s important. When we are stuck in the mindset of climbing the corporate ladder, or watching the bank account grow, or achieving the next milestone in our lives, we tend to focus more on being the best [fill in the blank] lawyer, professor, nurse, etc. and we forget about being the best father, wife, friend, good samaritan.

2. You confuse happiness with success. If left unchecked for too long, this “bigger, better, best” attitude will lead to our happiness being tied to our success, if not replaced by it altogether. If your business venture fails, you will perceive yourself as a failure, when the truth is you were courageous enough to step out on a limb in the first place.

3. You define yourself by our job and not our passions. The biggest danger here is not only in the implications for limiting ourselves, but the implications for limiting how we see others. Society tells us that some jobs are more valuable than others because of their salary, or perceived power. With this attitude in the back of our heads, it is easy then to associate the worth of a job to the worth of a person.


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