My friend Sandra McCauley in Experiential Learning likes to say that I “talk in bumper stickers.” I think that’s accurate. I try to boil things down to a simple phrase or two. Then say it over and over again until people get it. Kind of like, “What do you want to DO…?” You’re going to hear that one out of me over and over until you think you’re going to puke. But I think it’s a critical question asked in a purposeful way to elicit thought. Do. Action. Activity.


Same thing with one I’ve been saying as long as my son can remember, “move with a purpose.” I’m not sure if the parents of girls have this issue. But as the parent of a boy, I’ve said this probably nine billion times over the past 18 years.


When I’m going somewhere I generally have a place to go. That’s kind of the whole idea behind…going somewhere. If I didn’t need or want to be there, I wouldn’t go. (Note the use of “need” and “want” Dad!) Sometimes those are the same.  Like when you have a sudden urge to use the restroom (need and want) or you are walking in to the theater to see Guardians of the Galaxy for the third time (yes, need AND want!) Sometimes they are mutually exclusive like when you turn 50 and need to go see the doctor or your significant sweetie wants the yard mowed…NOW!


My son usually hears me say it as I step on the back of his shoes because he’s lolly-gagging in front of me. Or he’s weaving side to side in the mall. I’m sorry you don’t want to go buy new pants with your mom. But we are here at the Florida Mall with 200,000 of our closest friends. Let’s get this over with and not drag out feet.


I say it under my breath a lot as I walk from the parking garage on campus. Usually when I get stuck behind guys. But girls are guilty, too. Dragging their feet like a POW being marched to Camp O’Donnell after the Battle of Bataan. I can understand that you may not be particularly enthralled to get to a lecture on the subtle nuances of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards and how they may (or may not) influence motivation and behavior. But what I can’t understand is why people would do something that makes them feel so miserable that they risk shuffling right out of their Speedo shower shoes.


Here’s a piece of info that may help put things into perspective for you. You don’t HAVE to be here. You don’t have to go to college. You don’t have to go to UCF. You don’t have to be in the College of Business. You don’t have to major in whatever it is you’re majoring in. You are here because you WANT to be here. At least you should want to be here if you are going to spend the money, time, and resources to be here instead of working and earning a living. That want can be driven by a desire for a particular career, a want to satisfy some role model in your life, or simply the pursuit of knowledge. No judgment. But you have to want it. You have to want it bad. You have to want it to the point that it gives you purpose.


When you do, then the things you actually NEED to do come into perspective. You select an appropriate major because it will actually help you do what you want to DO (you knew I’d go back to that one!) It puts you on a timeline and instills a sense of urgency to get things accomplished. You go to class and take more than a passing interest in the subject matter. You get beyond just a series of checkboxes and begin to see the larger picture.


If you feel that this is just the next place you have to be because someone told you to get a degree, then you should seriously reconsider what you’re doing with your life. I believe a college degree is critical to your success. The statistics on long-term employment prospects and earning capacity bear that out. But I also feel that if you don’t have the drive that comes from a goal, a desired end result, A PURPOSE; then you are taking up valuable resources (instructor time, a class seat, etc.) that can be better used for someone who both wants and needs to be here.


So figure out what you want to DO, and MOVE WITH A PURPOSE!