Congratulations on graduating. Now give up on your dreams

May 7, 2016 by

In countless commencement speeches at high schools and colleges in the coming weeks, graduates will be advised to chase their dreams, pursue their passions and settle for nothing less. That is terrible advice.

Comedian and TV host Stephen Colbert offered wiser counsel during a graduation speech at his alma mater, Northwestern University, a few years ago. Recalling that he once aspired to perform Shakespeare in the street while living in a barren loft apartment, he said he has no regrets that things turned out differently.

“If we’d all stuck with our first dream,” noted Colbert, “the world would be overrun with cowboys and princesses.”

Second or third dreams — the ones that college freshmen bring to campus — are seldom much better. In some cases, this is obvious to most everyone except the dreamer: the pre-med student who wants to cure cancer but falls asleep in his biochem class; the aspiring diva who ignores her C in music (as well as her A in physics).

But even when an 18- or 22-year-old’s passion for a particular vocation is grounded in impressive achievements and serious reflection, it’s like other relationships at that age. To give up immediately might be a mistake, but wedding oneself to it is a bigger mistake still. Better to stay open to new ideas and career possibilities.

Source: Congratulations on graduating. Now give up on your dreams – LA Times

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