Do you see what I did there? Little play on words 😉 Anyway! Tomorrow at about 4:00 a.m. I’ll be on the road headed to North Carolina for a leadership conference at our company’s headquarters. It’s about a seven hour drive from Pittsburgh and the cost of the conference is $400.

Did you gasp?

The drive! The price! Oh my!

Your tomorrow is worth way more than $400. To get around people that are likeminded and on similar journeys as you doesn’t really have a reasonable price tag. I mean reasonable the other way. Even if this event had cost $10,000… that still wouldn’t be enough to equal the life-lifting capacity that something like this can hold.

You sound like you’re brainwashed, Craven.”

Good! Because I am! I’m brainwashed to believe that I have to invest in myself to get to higher levels of achievement.

But this sounds cultish.”

“Americans owe over $1.48 trillion in student loan debt, spread out among about 44 million borrowers. That’s about $620 billion more than the total U.S. credit card debt. In fact, the average Class of 2016 graduate has $37,172 in student loan debt, up six percent from last year.” [1]

It seems that we all have been “brainwashed” to believe that college is a good investment.

I’m talking $400 as opposed to $37,000. Now, by no means am I putting down college education. I have one of those $30,000+ degrees myself. And a year of a master’s degree debt from the University of Pittsburgh.

The greatest thing that I took away from my degree was that I learned how to learn. I learned how to focus myself and study important information. I also realized something that most people don’t realize. Educating yourself doesn’t stop at attainment of the degree.

Obviously you value the Bachelors or Ph.D. that you’ve worked so hard for. Why would you forfeit the skills (studying) that got you to that level? Don’t you think if you continue educating yourself you’ll achieve higher levels than you’ve already experienced?

College obviously isn’t free. Why should conferences, books, coaching and other services not hold the value of investment? ( I wrote these two posts on making yourself aware of where you’re receiving your teaching. The investment isn’t just money but your ultimate resource, time. So you want to be smart about getting smarter: Click me for post 1 and Click me for post 2.)

You have to be aware if you’re throwing your money away on worthless endeavors and again, your time is even more important than dolla’ dolla’ bills.

The power of putting yourself among other individuals that anticipate getting the same success out of life that you plan on getting, only strengthens your resolve. This is why study groups exist in college. Getting through Organic Chemistry was a much less disturbing task because I was in the company of people that understood it better than me. Eventually I began to see what they saw and I passed the course. You and I both want to be able to say the same about different levels of life.

How do you just have $500,000 in your savings account? How did you pay off all of that crazy student loan debt? How are you not stressed all the time about having your bills paid? How do I enjoy life without incessantly worrying about money? How do I just stop thinking about the pains of money and get to a place where I can see money’s benefit? Because right now it just stresses me the hell out!

And it’s not just money that we have to somehow master in our adult life…

How do you find work you enjoy doing? How do you not hate every day you wake up?

That last one is a little extreme but it’s honest and if most of us are honest with ourselves, we probably enjoy far less days than we despise. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. That’s how it likely will be if we cease educating ourselves with important information. If we no longer put ourselves in the company of those that are doing more, how can we ever expect to do more? How can we get to a place where we even want to do more? Ever feel like that… “I just want to want to do more with my life.”

You invested in the degree which ultimately was an investment in your life. Don’t stop. Keep investing. But invest in the right things. Some colleges suck and a lot of “coaches” suck. Get with the good ones. Not the shit ones.

Sorry if this blog is a little in your face… I’ve been listening to Slayer since yesterday because apparently this year they’re doing a farewell tour. So I’ve been jamming them and reliving 16-year old Mark Craven vibes… It seems I was a pretty pissed off kid… All the time… Anyway… SLAYYYYYYYYEEEEEERRRRR!!!!! Sorry had to get that out.

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