Nostalgia – UCLA 1973

The myth I grew up with was that degrees were the path to success.  So when I began getting disillusioned with my job, the answers was to get another degree.  The insight that my current job had virtually nothing to do with any of my education somehow didn’t matter to me – or to any of the employers out there- eluded me completely.  Also eluding me was the even more obvious thought that I might be better served by not depending on an employer.
So my solution was the only one I knew – get another degree. in this case an MBA.
I enrolled at UCLA in what was then called the XMBA program.  These programs are universal these days but were new for first class institutions like UCLA back then.  We were fully part of the regular program but they provided key classes in the early evening/late afternoon slot that fit our time availability.  My employer was into enabling this process and was tolerant of some adjustments to my work schedule and provided tuition reimbursement.
So I entered into three years of intense committment in which time I managed to stay married, move twice including buying our first nome and make some new friends.  I committed to work through without skipping a quarter but was burned out.  I vowed never to take another course in my life.  Thankfully we did not start our family until later.
I think I demonstrated great persistence in this effort.  I got the degree.  It got me a new job and a career that I thoroughly enjoyed.  But I only accomplished what I was able to see at the time.  My vision was limited to conventional thinking and I accomplished only conventional success.
There was nothing wrong with my persistence, then or now.  What was missing was my vision.  I had only limited ideas about what possibilities I could achieve.  I settled for small goals, conventional wisdom and comfort.  Persistence is a wonderful thing but only a small part of achieving success.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Long Huynh July 2, 2009, 1:28 pm

    “Persistence is a wonderful thing but only a small part of achieving success.” That’s because you redefined success now. It has served you well in the past and it will serve you well in the future.

  • Ralph July 2, 2009, 4:53 pm

    Well, I appreciate your encouragement, You are saying that I selected a new destination rather than improving my judgment. I link to think of myself as improving but on reflection, you are probably correct. Probably your model is better. I need to adjust my perspective about my capabilities.

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