Go do everything, and maybe you’ll change something.

Next time somebody reminds you to focus, tell them that it’s distracting you.

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Focus is just another word for don’t innovate.

It’s a mandate perpetuated by the powers that be to help keep people in their lanes. To curb originality. To assure that individuals remain small, scared and dreamless in their endeavors.

Because god forbid anyone should expand their sense of possibility, try something new and show the world that they’re capable of acting in new ways. That might make them hard to control.

And we can’t have three hundred million people who can think for themselves, now can we?

I attribute this dangerous phenomenon to the educational industrial complex, where students are pressurized from day one to declare a major. To choose a field of study that represents their principal interest. Without making that critical life decision at the ripe old age of nineteen, their career trajectory is doomed to inevitable failure.

In fact, some universities even make students ineligible for scholarships and other financial aid if they don’t choose a major.

Why all the fuss? What’s so critical about choosing a major?

Nothing. It’s just a story we’re telling ourselves.

Think about it. If you don’t declare a major, you won’t get a job. If you don’t get a job, you won’t buy a house. If you don’t buy a house, you won’t get married and start a family and lock into the inherited social system. And if you don’t do that, well, who knows what kinds of dangerous and innovative ideas you might come up with in your free time. Better to keep your head down and focus instead.

American universities pioneered this concept of the academic major in the late eighteen hundreds. And back then, their charge was inspiring. According to the encyclopedia of education, institutions sought to endow students with a greater freedom to explore their intellectual curiosities. Declaring a major was a cherished process that fostered the development, conservation and diffusion of knowledge.

Of course, that was centuries before schools became systems for churning out a constant stream of parochial and compliant factory workers to support our nation’s mediocre businesses who aren’t actually interested in innovating, only replicating.

And so, the next time somebody reminds you to focus, tell them that it’s distracting you.

We’re not supposed to be one thing in life.

Fuck declaring a major. Choosing is losing.

Go do everything, and maybe you’ll change something.

Are you endowing yourself with a greater freedom to explore your intellectual curiosities?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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Author. Speaker. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Founder of getprolific.io. Pioneer of Personal Creativity Management (PCM). I also wear a nametag 24/7.

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