the year of you, day 34

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Meditation: At the Center is Love: Liquid Mind –

Question: Think of a big decision you made in your past and imagine you made an alternative choice. What would your life be like now?

Answer: I have two answers to that question, having to choose between: (1) not getting my drivers license until I was in my mid 20’s, and (2) not completing my doctoral degree in sociology. To be honest, I don’t regret either decision, but I’ve always wondered what my life would be like right now if I made different decisions in both cares. And for fun, I think I’ll just answer both.

Driver’s License. When most teenagers turn 16 and are excited about driving, I was not. Had no interest in driving AT ALL! Throughout my teen years and through a good portion of my 20’s, I either biked, walked, or took some type of mass transportation. And lucky for me, I always had roommates with cars and enjoyed driving. I ended up getting my license because my ex-wife had to drive back from a trip with the flu – and that was the last straw! I’ve always wondered what would have happened if I got my license like everyone else? I definitely would have had more freedom, especially once I got to college. But I know my last 2.5 years as an undergraduate student, I partied A LOT! And back then, my friends would drive home drunk – and I’m sure I would have done the same. Although we never got into an accident, I know that many mornings our cars would be parked in some “interesting” places! Not good. But I think it was a great to wait so long because I always found a way to get where I needed to go – even if that meant walking for miles and miles. I always found a way to get where I needed to go, which I think made me self-sufficient, as well as be okay being alone with my thoughts – two traits that I still have today.

Not getting Doctoral Degree. If I would have received my Doctorate Degree, the goal was to seek tenure-track jobs in sport sociology. But as we know in higher education, as a new professor, I most likely would have had to teach introductory sociology classes – which I despised! I was a graduate teaching assistant my first year in a doctoral program and hated the entire experience. The grading, office hours, whiny students – none of it was enjoyable. The only positive was that I was getting an opportunity to attend for free. But it didn’t fulfill me at all! And if I did follow that track, I would most likely not be doing the work I so love to do today! I thought I was going to be the next Harry Edwards, spending most of my days doing research around sports issues – which I loved. Actually, my passion was talking about sports issues, not doing research around sports issues. To make things even more compelling, the one faculty member that was interested in working with me left the University, so I didn’t have anyone to support my interests and my work in sports sociology.

What I learned is that everything happens for a reason, right? And if either of those two things had worked out, I most likely wouldn’t be on the journey that I’m on right now. Yeah for fate!

Other Stuff

Right now, I’m on a mission to redefine my position, justifying why purpose, meaning, health, and well-being should be the cornerstone of our work in the School of Health and Human Sciences. It’s been my contention that advising – that is, registration, scheduling, and degree evaluation – should be a piece of a bigger picture of a NEW definition of student success, one where it’s focused on students defining success for themselves, not the institution’s definition of success (the numbers). That’s another conversation that’s coming.

I’m attaching an article I read about 10 days ago that really got me on this mission; of course, with a title, “What is the Purpose of College?” it’s one I just HAD to read! If you’re in higher education in some capacity, either as a student or educator, it’s one that you should read as well. Here’s the link:

It’s a great article; in the article, the author talks about a study done by Gallup and Bates College about Purposeful Work. If you haven’t read the study, you can find it here: Forging Pathways to Purposeful Work: The Role of Higher Education – It’s a great read, especially is you’re interested in making the connection between purpose and meaningful work. It’s the study I’m using to support my argument that Life Design Catalyst work is essential to the work we do with our students.

We’ll see how that goes….


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