‘There is no need of college degree for being great; only those are great who have a heart full of grace’
– Martin Luther King, Jr
Michelangelo is known as one of the greatest sculptor ever walked on this planet. Once, one of his friend tells him that I have placed business first, then second horse-racing, then stealing, then this, then this, then this; a list of twenty things and he says, ‘I place marble sculpting last.’ Then he turns to Michelangelo and he asks, ‘What about you?’
And do you know what he says? Michelangelo says, ‘I say sculpting and my list is over.’
Leave any college degree, if you have this kind of positive attitude then you’re already successful. Michelangelo had no degree with himself but he became most successful sculptor because he used to just think of sculpting. We know about the Pieta, David, his beautiful masterpieces. Certainly, he didn’t require a college degree.
First of all, it should be clear that how do you define success or failure? If you count all the material possessions that you acquire as the only measuring tool for success; then I could say, that college degree might help you a bit in it. You may get a good job with a good college degree but that doesn’t ensure that you will be successful in your life. So, we need to first check out, what is success for us? I think and define success in my own way. I feel that, Success is a positive force that continuously drives you and inspires
you to work far more better for yourself, your family and to the whole world at large. It is a drink that gives you, personal satisfaction and it is food that increases your appetite more for it. Suppose a young man is begging on the streets for his daily bread. He goes to every person, with crying eyes and a humble voice, he asks for food or money. I watch him daily and notice his bare conditions. So, one day, I provide him a little financial support. He starts a small shoe-polishing business with that money. He is still not a rich boy having cars or houses. But now, he earns his own bread. Earlier, he used to beg for it. On my terms, he is successful. Not only that, I am also successful because that little efforts on my behalf for that boy gives me personal satisfaction and joy. So, success is not
just exclusive but it is inclusive. Stephen Covey in his bestselling book, ‘7 habits of highly effective people,’ lists down all those 7 habits that are required in a successful, effective
person. Those habits are:
1. Be Proactive
2. Begin with End in Mind
3. First Thing First
4. Think Win-Win
5. Seek First to Understand then to be Understood
7. Sharpen Your Saw
The fourth habit in it is think win-win . It means, that, your success should not only be helpful just to you but it should be meaningful and beneficial for the all. Then it is real success. If you are creating your beautiful castle on other’s grave; then
you are not successful. So, these are the 7 habits; note it down or read the whole book, there is no mention of a college degree in it. What I want to point out is that, success is not a chance but it is a choice. Success is not a destiny but it is the real hard-work that you apply behind it. People’s choices make them successful and not the degree they receive in their colleges. If that would have been the case, then all the grads
from Oxford, Harvard, Cambridge must be successful in their lives. But this not the truth. College degree is a certificate that guarantees that you have completed your education from a certain college in a particular field. But don’t confuse degree and education. Many people pass in getting a degree but they fail to get the education. Education is important; degree is useful. Bill Gates – the most successful businessman of our time; he is a high-school dropout. Steve Jobs, he had no degree but he had a dream. He had a choice and that is why he was successful. The list is very long, there are a lot of people having no better degree but they are more successful in their life. I’m not saying that degree is completely useless. No, it is good. It is useful. It looks better in the wooden frame, in your house or office wall. But you can’t define it as a basic ingredient for the success.
Now, you would ask me then that what do you need for success if not the degree. I am listing it; please note it down. After considering thousands of researches and discussions; these simple five steps are crafted in a way to make one successful in his or her life. The sure steps to success are:
1. Intelligent Intense Hardwork
3. Positive Attitude
4. Morality and Honest Life
5. Faith in God
Agree with me or not, follow it and you will notice the change. The road to the ultimate success goes from any college degree or not, I’m not sure; but it surely passes through these steps. If you miss any one of these step; you will stumble down back and fall. Personally, I don’t think that when I would be at my deathbed, I would see all the degrees I have collected in my life. At that time, I would like to see those faces who are smiling because of me. I would count all those tears that will be reserved only for me at my departure. Lastly, I would come to the title of my topic, do you need a college degree to be successful? I don’t need it for being successful. But I would like to ask you now, do you?
Gaurav S Kaintura
Note: This essay first appeared in the Australian Writing Contest.