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RANT WEEK - I have been talking to a lot of different people lately who work in different industries, are passionate about different things, and live completely opposite lifestyles. But almost all the conversations have one thing in common. Unhappiness with their current job or "work" situation and how the system they were brought up to believe in, no longer suits them. So I took a step back and thought about why this is happening. Read on below to see what I came up with. I would love to hear whether you agree or disagree.

Linear thinking, it is killing us.

Age 5 we go to kindergarten and we are told we need to take tests to get to the next grade. But what if the tests are easy to us? Do we get to skip a grade?!? Typically, no if you get straight A’s you receive some type of reward (high honors, certificates, etc.) to encourage you to keep trying so hard for “tests.” What if the tests are hard for us?!? Do they drop us down a grade?!? Once again, no. They shuffle us along and typically the mix of people who abide by the rules will get good grades, but they are not truly learning. And those who do not follow the rules, those that question the system, are left feeling defeated like they are not worthy. When in reality, they just are not meant to be a part of the system in the first place.

Linear thinking, it is killing us.

So we get shuffled along this system like we are all the same. Sammy, Johnny, Marybeth, Joey…we are all thrown into learning subjects that teach us to memorize and act fast to get the grade. I can vividly remember in 3rd grade doing “MAD MINUTES” in math class. Instead of teaching me why math is important, how it is useful, I got rewarded for quickly completing these sheets. To be honest, I did not give a f*** about the math, I just wanted to win the prize. This thinking is destroying us cause when we are adults prizes are a façade. The process, the learning of new things, growing as a person, that’s the true beauty of it all…not the prize. The prize makes you feel good for a few days. At most.

Linear thinking, it is killing us.

When we start catching on that moving up a grade is not really that great of a prize the system introduces another objective into the mix…the GPA. We are then told this acronym holds the key to “our dreams of college” as if college is the golden ticket to a great life. Oh yeah, and you must go into massive debt and pay an absurd amount of money for this “dream.” I am literally laughing as I write this. :) How many of us had anxiety induced, sleepless nights worrying about a test, project, presentation? Yet, when we look back, many of the things we worried about had little effect on how our life panned out. The things we remember that had the most impact were instead the people and the experiences we created.

Linear thinking it is killing us.

Then we graduate and get into the “real world” as they say. I guess it is a bit more realistic because once we graduate there are no trophies anymore. No prize at the end of the tunnel. For the first time in our life we get to choose what that prize is, and what it means to us. Unfortunately, many of us struggle with this concept. We choose jobs we hate, for money and materialistic things we do not care about, to please everyone around us except ourselves. We file ourselves into the system that created us and assume we can only achieve that 3% salary bump every year. Then we set limits around our goals and what we can achieve based on the statistics the system tells us. I refuse to be a statistic. You should too!  

Exponential thinking can save us.

There are rich and famous people with no degrees. Financially poor and broken people with the most advanced degrees. Happy and sad people in all walks of life. This is the reality. There is no "standard" way to do things. Do not let the system tell you otherwise! There is no direct path to success. You can achieve great things in one day, one month, one year, or a lifetime depending on what you define as success. LIFE IS EXPONENTIAL! A bad grade/project/presentation today, does not equal a bad life. As drake would say we can go from zero to one hundred really quick...if we choose to. So realize there are no trophies. You cannot take money or possessions with you when you die. TODAY is the only thing that matters because tomorrow is guaranteed to no one. NO ONE. So to THRIVE this week I ask you to start thinking exponentially with everything you do in life. Do not fall into the trap of believing you can only achieve certain things with particular degrees, specific job experiences on your resume, or validations from the system. Validate yourself, dream big, and realize that whoever it is you look up to… they are made from the same substance you are! So get after it! And if you are having trouble starting, reach out to me I would love to help you!