Lately, I feel like every day, somebody is presenting me with an opportunity to attain world domination.
But of course, such is the life of a motivated college student.
well-established adults seem to gravitate toward certain people, citing an abstract, overvalued quality they call \"potential.\" They're always
setting up the interview, getting your foot in the door or recommending
you for the competitive internship.
who have helped me seem motivated by genuine good will; others are
perhaps compelled by an unsaid desire to vicariously attain the goals
and dreams of their youth. But whatever the impetus, being an ambitious
twentysomething can open a lot of doors — especially in the LDS world.
lest you think I'm ungrateful, I'll say right now that I am enormously
appreciative of all the offers and opportunities I've received. I owe
any success I have obtained thus far in my life to the kindhearted
individuals who have, for whatever reason, given me my \"big breaks.\"
in the midst of making the phone calls, writing the cover letters and
calling in the favors, I've found myself lately pausing to ask the
example, what IS my ultimate goal? What would satisfy this insatiable
desire for success? I jokingly referred to world domination above, but
was it really a joke?
guess I've always subconsciously thought that once I achieved a certain
status, rank or tax bracket, I would be done with my career and able to
retire in peace. But with every miniature goal I achieve along the way,
I find myself wanting more. Who's to say it will stop when I'm a
millionaire or a world-renowned author?
course, I know what the answer is supposed to be. \"Seek ye first the
kingdom of God,\" right? But a literal approach to that verse would
likely result in a full-time, lifelong proselyting mission devoid of any
sort of secular career that could prove as a distraction from
honestly, if that were an option I would probably take it. I would
avoid the inner-conflict and dive headfirst into what I know brings
eternal happiness, without a thought to the world of secular success
Unfortunately, that's not allowed.
No, God wants us to be \"in the world, but not of the world,\" and that's where I usually arrive at the toughest question of all: How long can I really hang around in the world until I am seduced by its ideas of value and end up betraying myself?
course, justifications abound, especially at BYU. \"The church needs
money,\" they say. \"And the richest members of the church are the ones
who build temples with their tithing.\"
such rationale doesn't offer much solace — at least not to people like
me. There are, undoubtedly, Saints stronger than I who have learned to
achieve their worldly ambitions without losing sight of their
priorities. I just worry that I won't ever become one of them.
a Hugh Nibley talk I've mentioned before in this column, Nibley quotes a young business
student who was charged with the assignment of writing a paper
comparing himself to a scriptural character. He chose Cain.
was after personal gain. He knew the impact of his decision to kill
Abel. Now, I do not ignore God and make murderous pacts with Satan;
however, I desire to get gain. Unfortunately, my desire to succeed in
business is not necessarily to help the Lord's kingdom grow ...
business major, I wonder about the ethics of business — 'charge as much
as possible for a product which was made by someone else who was paid
as little as possible.' You live on the difference. As a businessman
will I be living on someone else's industry and not my own? Will I be
contributing to society or will I receive something for nothing, as did
Cain? While being honest, these are difficult questions for me.\"
Indeed, they are difficult questions for me as well.