Sunday, November 8, 2009

What have you learned that's worth writing about?

By Trina Boice

Ever wonder what it takes to succeed at something? I stumbled across the list below and got a real kick out of some of the college degrees famous people have earned. Some will surprise you:

Adam Sandler - Fine Arts

Alex Trebek - Philosophy

Andy Griffith - Music

Angela Bassett - Drama

Arnold Schwarzenegger - Physical Communications Art Garfunkel

Barbara Walters - English

Barry Manilow - Music

Bill Clinton - Foreign Service

Bruce Lee - Philosophy

Cindy Crawford - Chemical Engineering

Clarence Thomas - English

Colin Powell - Geology

Conan O'Brien - American History and Literature

David Letterman - Telecommunications

Dick Cheney - Political Science

Donald Trump - Economics

Garth Brooks - Journalism/Advertising

George Clooney - Broadcasting

George W. Bush - History

Harrison Ford - Philosophy

Janet Reno - Chemistry

Julia Roberts - Veterinary Studies

Kevin Costner - Business Administration

Margaret Thatcher - Chemistry

Michael Crichton - Anthropology

Michael Jordan - Cultural Geography

Mick Jagger - Economics

Will Ferrell - Sports Information

Willard Scott - Religious Studies

So, why did I want to share these with you today? Because I wanted to make a few points. You'll notice that some of the famous people listed above went on to achieve great things in their chosen field, while others did something completely different from their educational pursuit. You may have travelled down one of life's paths, planning for a specific destination, only to find that it wasn't what you thought it was going to be.

You may be currently working in a profession that you don't enjoy or one that simply doesn't pay as much as you thought it would. You may even be out of a job right now. Or you may have set aside your occupation for a time in order to stay home to raise your children. I know that in between diaper changes you often ask yourself if you're succeeding at anything!  I've learned that, despite your best plans, life throws lots of twists and turns at you.  Those experiences can make for the most interesting writing!

Whatever education or training you’ve had in the past has helped mold you into the person you are today.   The truth is, your life is an education and there are things you've learned that others would love to read about, whether through characters in your book or as an autobiography. 

Look at that list above again. Wow, who knew Cindy Crawford had beauty AND brains?! What did it take for those people to succeed? Persistence. Talent. Time. Hard work. Tenacity.  Those are the same things it takes to get a book published!  Whatever chapter of your life you're in right now, look at what you've learned and celebrate it!


Rebecca Talley said...

Interesting list. I think you have to go after what you're passionate about, even if it isn't in your chosen field. A life without passion would be way too dull and boring.