“Once you decide to go after your goals, you are going to come face to face with your greatest weakness.” Life isn’t easy, well done captain obvious. Unfortunately, for a very long time, I, like many people in life made decisions based on what was easy. Why did you study communications in College? Everybody said communications was easy! Why didn’t you take any business course electives? Those courses are too hard. The central theme of those two questions, is that I was trying to avoid pain and pain is usually a first order consequence, but I now realize that pain produces the prize.
I Have Two Degrees! Why Me?
The first order consequence of taking courses that are too hard, is pain from the perspective of having to spend hours and hours studying trying to grasp concepts that tend to be above average intelligence level. This pain will more than likely be a result of a lack of sleep. Well lack of sleep wasn’t an issue for me, because I chose the easy route, which ended up leaving me with a Master’s Degree in Sports Management, in addition to my undergrad studies. Sounds good on the surface, but none of those degrees provided me with a marketable skill, and that is why, for just over half a decade, I couldn’t find a job.
It took a very long time for me to understand why I couldn’t find a job. I tried to blame it on the economy, because a lot of this was happening in 2008. If only the economy were better, there would be more job options. The harsh reality is, other people were not only surviving during the economic downturn, but they were thriving. It’s a long road to finally realizing that you are the only problem you will ever have, but you are also the solution (As long as God provides you with health and strength to make decisions).
No One Cares, Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself
I was wrestling with this fact for a few years after that. In 2010 was the last straw and I quit my job. From there, I decided that I would only do things that would challenge myself. Moving past the first order consequence of pain and not making decisions based on what was easy, has improved my life from what it was, but I have a long way to go. At the time I quit my job, I had no technical skills, I didn’t even know how to build a link on a web page. To me, pursuing a degree in interactive media and web design would be a huge challenge, one that I thought I possibly may fail. Years later, not only did I not fail, but moving past the first order consequence of pain and struggling through that tough course work, brought me to the second order consequence of having a pretty decent career in the internet marketing field, I still have a long way to go.
The New Challenge
As far as business courses were concerned, I didn’t take any en route to my first three degrees, because as I mentioned, I thought they were too hard or I guess you could say painful. This time around, instead of avoiding the challenge, I took it head on and decided to pursue an MBA in Business Intelligence and Analytics. I promise you, the coursework is as hard as it sounds. The very first test I took in the program I got a whopping 65%. I didn’t quit then and as I continue to progress through the rest of this program and continue to face other challenges, I won’t give up in the face of that adversity either.
I have moved past pain avoidance as it relates to coursework and the results there have shown me that if I push through pain as it relates to coursework, I can secure a decent living holding down a job. At this point, the second order consequence of facing challenging school work, is me ending up with a marketable skill and having the ability to secure decent jobs in the market place.
What Is The Third Order Consequence
What is the third order consequence? Securing an education is fine, but if I only study what they teach me in class, I only know what everybody else knows. I think the next step is actually applying what I have learned over the years to my own endeavors. Moving from easy to hard classes gets me to the second order consequence and I have a decent idea of how that will turn out. I don’t know, however, how life will turn out if I truly apply myself day after day and try to take on the challenge of working on projects for myself. Moving past the pain and the fear of that challenge will get me to the third order consequence and I am sure that will be a more fulfilling life.
Let’s see how that works out?