When I was 26 years old, I felt an immense creative urge rise up inside of me. To write a book.
A book to help college students live their passions and dreams. And it was an utterly FRIGHTENING urge.
I couldn't have been more insecure about my writing when the desire to write this book broadsided me. And backing up my deep insecurity was the fact that I was in fact, a bad writer. (I've got the early pages still to prove it).
But despite insecurity, fear, doubt, lack of a good reason (I was informed that the long arduous, six month writing task would likely only earn me $5000 over the long run) – despite these things plus a lack of time, I dove into the urge because on the other side of my negatives, I could feel a blissful desire to go for it.
That was 15 years ago. I finished the book. It has thus far sold 120,000 copies.
But if you want to really know why you should answer your most blissful callings, even when doing so seems to daunting, here's your answer:
Today I received this email from a young woman who's name I will keep private:
"First of all, you should know that I have never felt the need to write to an author before, though I have read many books. However, I feel you deserve to know the effect your book Major in Success (4th edition) has had on me.
I honestly believe that this book has saved my life. Though I received letter upon letter from well-known schools from all around the country (including Harvard, Caltech, MIT, and Rice) during my senior year of high school, I was no nearer to knowing what I wanted to do. Most letters remained unopened, and all ended up in a looming pile stuffed in the corner of my room and forever haunting my mind. I was completely clueless about what college to go to and what to study. Even when I was in grade school the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" filled me with an unmitigable horror. This is because I thought that I had to pick a life-long career at only 17 years of age. I knew I was clueless and depressed, for I had no idea of where I wanted to go in life. I was reading books to escape my life, trying to cover up the pile of confusion stuck in my mind. And that's when I realized that I should read books to help me figure out my life instead of escape it. I checked out your book, expecting it to show me how to pick a major. Little did I know it would completely change my outlook on life.
You taught me that I don't need to figure out my entire life before college–instead you encouraged me to use college to figure out my interests. You taught me to always do what I liked and what I think is interesting, no matter what others may think. You even taught me to admit even my wildest dreams to myself, no matter how unreachable they may seem (including writing a book of my own). But what I am most thankful to you for is the calming sense of relief you have given me. I am forever thankful to you for helping me remove the horrific pile of uncertainty and distress from the corner of my mind.
I am now a freshman at the University of Wisconsin, with an undeclared major. I am using this time to take classes that explore my main interests–literature, math, and chemistry–and I've been exploring different clubs. I'm still not exactly sure what I want to do after college, but I am following your advice and keeping a journal. Maybe someday, once I have my "dream job" I will be one of your success stories.
I just have two questions: Do you really believe that if someone follows what they really love that they will eventually succeed–even if the job is rare and unusual? Is it really a lie that the "coolest jobs are one in a million" and "require great talent" (p. 20)?"
There is a person somewhere in the world, and somewhere in time who is waiting for you to give your gift.
When are you going to give it?
If you have a passionate belief in your vision and know that you've got a bright future ahead, but are currently hampered by low income, stress and overwhelm, for a limited time I am offering the opportunity for a Complimentary Big Bliss, Big Brilliance, Big Bank Account Strategy Session to explore what you can do to have a breakthrough on your bliss. I have a limited number of appointments available and request that only applicants who are serious about truly realizing big gains on your bliss, brilliance and your bank account apply.
To apply for your complimentary session with me, email firstname.lastname@example.org and she'll send you the next steps.