Not too long ago, I had a conversation with a student about his future plans. The young man shared how he desires to be a professional athlete yet, isn’t on any of our teams (junior varsity, varsity) for that particular sport. In his favor, he is an underclassman. Of course, I asked about other interests; he answered that he is only interested in being an athlete. He felt that having an alternative equated to doubt and that is why some youth don’t achieve such lofty goals as becoming a professional athlete or musician.
I told him I agree you must have faith in yourself in achieving your dreams; however, this must be balanced out with knowledge of what it will take to achieve that dream. Understanding the challenges can help in making good decisions in the process of achieving goals. I explained to him how every professional athlete, even benchwarmers and journeymen, was probably a star on their team in high school or college. Developing a goal or interest outside of his goal of being a professional athlete won’t detract from it; it can actually enhance it. The same holds true for adult life; expanding our knowledge is beneficial and increases our value to ourselves and others.