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Blinded by Ignorance

Blinded by a IgnoranceBlinded by Ignorance-3

Not long ago, a second-year college student named Cathy told me that she wants to go to law school when she graduates. I asked her what type of law she wants to practice, and she replied that she wants to prosecute animal cruelty cases. I asked her if there is a big demand for that specialty in law, and she told me she wasn’t sure. I then asked her what activities she would be doing as an attorney, and she didn’t know that either. I asked her about the income potential and she dismissed the question without a thought. After all, everybody knows that attorneys are rich, right?

I continued to press Cathy with a few more questions. Is there any city in the world that has a dedicated prosecutor for animal rights cases? Are there likely to be any such positions by the time she graduates? What are the hours that an average criminal prosecutor works? How much does a prosecutor make?

All important considerations in choosing a vocation, but Cathy can’t or won’t hear them because her dream has eclipsed her ability or willingness to reason. Because she had a dream, she wasn’t open to an honest evaluation of her plans.

Cathy is not alone in her ignorance. I can’t begin to tell you the number of high school and college students I’ve spoken to who have very definite ideas about what profession they want to enter, but have given little or no thought to:

  • What the average income is for that vocation
  • Whether the return on investment is recoupable. (During the recession of 2009 and 2010, thousands of people thought the answer to their economic woes was to load up on student loans and get their post-graduate degree, only to graduate with no job offers on the horizon.)
  • What lifestyle they would live (how many hours a day they would have to work, in what city, in what kind of house)
  • Whether they would enjoy doing the work, day in and day out.

The funny thing about ignorance is that even though you don’t intend to be ignorant, you suffer the consequences of it just the same.

Excerpted from The Seven Powers of Success; Unlock Your Strengths, Unleash Your Dreams.  www.charlesmarshall.net  © 2013 Charles Marshall

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