The April 2, 2016, print edition of The Wall Street Journal published an essay adapted by Michael Puett and Christine Gross-Loh from their new book THE PATH: WHAT CHINESE PHILOSOPHERS CAN TEACH US ABOUT THE GOOD LIFE, which is to be published by Simon & Schuster. As the Journal article indicated, Dr. Puett is a professor of Chinese history at Harvard University and Dr. Gross-Loh is the author of PARENTING WITHOUT BORDERS.
The Journal article says:
[W]hy is it that so many students feel such anxiety? On campus, we hear the same complaint again and again: “I’ve done lots of extracurriculars. I’ve taken a variety of courses. Why can’t I figure out who I am and what I want to do?”
Our answer: Read Confucius, Mencius, Zhuangzi and other Chinese thinkers who lived more than 2,000 years ago. Recognize that the contemporary Western emphasis on self-discovery and self-acceptance has led you astray.
The article spoke to me because in my opinion this advice constitutes a good companion to Carol Dweck’s book MINDSET:THE NEW PSYCHOLOGY OF SUCCESS — the fabulous book that demonstrates the importance of having an open mind to learning new skills, particularly skills at which we do not immediately excel.
The article also says:
So if you want not only to be successful but also to live a good life, consider these subversive lessons of Chinese philosophy: Don’t try to discover your authentic self; don’t be confined by what you are good at or what you love. And do a lot of pretending.
Soon after I read this Journal article I spoke to a friend whose daughter left a very good position in order to attend a full-time MBA program — a decision for which she apparently received a lot of dissenting opinions. The friend wondered whether this program will help her daughter decide what she wants to do next.
With the Chinese philosophy article in mind I replied with the concept of trying out new things, especially doing internships during an MBA program to check out possible career options. And, yes, I recommended the third book in my HOW TO SUCCEED series of books for teens and young adults — HOW TO SUCCEED BEYOND COLLEGE.
In today’s interconnected world there is so much information available via your smartphone or tablet. Answers to questions such as where to find veterinarians in your city (to seek an internship) are immediately available.
Tip: One great place for younger or older adults to get information in person is via meetup.com; on this website you enter your city and your interests to find in-person meeting groups on all kinds of topics. These meetups (usually free) are great places to network with people in different career fields who are often happy to share information.
In conclusion, you can read for FREE all three of my HOW TO SUCCEED ebooks for teens and young adults via a Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription on Amazon. Check out www.howtosucceedebooks.com to learn more.
And do think of these three books as graduation gifts for eighth graders, high school seniors, and college seniors!
© 2016 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller) has an M.B.A. from The Wharton School and is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks. Phyllis is available by skype for book group discussions and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Her Kindle fiction ebooks may be read for free with a Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription — see www.amazon.com/author/phylliszimblermiller — and her Kindle nonfiction ebooks may also be read for free with a Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription — see www.amazon.com/author/phylliszmiller