I must admit I never even considered doing anything but working hard and “applying myself” at school. I was a good girl. So I never quite understood the kids in my year that adopted the laissez-faire attitude with one eye on the end of the school year, the freedom that beckoned (that scared the bejeesus out of me) at the end of it all. In short, it was drummed in to me that exam results, education, qualifications were the be all and end all. And I’ve never questioned that.
Then I read Chris Guillebeau’s frank and bare-all admission that he holds not a single qualification to his name and I was forced to open my mind. What, not one? And he’s achieved so much? I was in sudden admiration.
As I pack to spend a weekend at a coaching course, I had to stop and question why I was doing it. This time it is for a big, fat selfish reason – I want to. But I can’t honestly say other ‘qualifications’, for what they’re worth, have been motivated by the same reason. For the most part, I think a qualification, a bit of paper, has been for everyone else BUT me. To prove something to everyone else. “Look, I can do this. This bit of paper says so!”
And so I am in full admiration of Chris Guillebeau. It must take a serious amount of guts to NOT take the easy option and conform. He took the leap and trusted he would fly! In his case, around the world…… Not a bad life for a school drop-out eh!
Image: Quint Buchholz