This Blog Is About

This blog is about---You! Each and every post is about you. Use it to challenge your usual patterns, as a tool for self-discovery, to stimulate your thinking, to learn about yourself and to answer your questions about others.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Change is Possible

 A few days ago, there was a positive news story:  Hazel Soares, at the age of 94 fulfilled a life-long dream she had.  Ms Soares graduated from high school in the midst of the Great Depression---she dearly wanted to go to college---but, at that time, it was an impossibility for her.  But!  She never abandoned her dream.  At the age of 85, she earned her AA degree.  And on May 5 of this year, she threw her cap in the air as she became the oldest person to ever graduate from Mills College.
"With her diploma in hand, Soares said she plans to volunteer at a museum...I wouldn't want to sit home and do nothing, she said."

It isn't easy, as an adult, to strike out and do something different.  But it is, in my view, worse to deprive yourself of the experiences you long for in life just because it's uncomfortable to do something new.  As adults, we become accustomed to feeling in control, to having a sense of mastery over the activities we engage in.  But there is another kind of personal power in having the courage to be awkward, to do something new where you are in the role of learner.
You might ask yourself:  Is it worth staying with the comfortable and familiar to forgo my own vision for myself?

There could be, of course, many versions of the dream a particular individual might have for themselves but earning of a college degree struck me as such a good example as I have seen many people in my practice who didn't finish their degree or who never made the attempt at all---their feeling was all the same---one of missing something.

In addition, education is therapeutic.  There are so many things learned in the experience of going to college that are beyond just the academic subject matter.  Students learn about deferred goal gratification, self-discipline, how to research an idea,
how to express themselves in writing and I'm sure you can think of many more.  It is a personal growth experience.
So, award yourself the fulfillment of your dream and if college is it, more power to you!

Back to the easy-in-the-short-run route:  We all know that many people get 'stuck in their ways' as they get older.  Doesn't it stand to reason that this may happen in part by the repeated limiting of oneself to only engaging with the parts of life that were learned early on?  Isn't this the end-result of self-limiting behavior?

Whether it's in the therapy office, in school, or some other endeavor---
Make the choice to continue to learn.

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