I was born in 1982 and have heard this slogan all my life. We've all seen it on Google & BHW. Books have been written about it. Thousands of articles. I personally might have been exposed to some form of this slogan over a million times in my life. But I never fully realized how effectively this slogan (and other versions of it) have brainwashed me. Even on this forum when I see people correct others with "work smart AND hard"... my brain still seems to read "work smart, NOT hard." Cause THAT'S the slogan that was drilled into my pre-adult brain. Even though my PARENTS taught me the value of hard work (by busting their asses to raise me).... even though I worked 2 jobs in highschool ... my friends, my brothers, my society somehow taught me otherwise. That working hard is for suckers. And so I always felt like a sucker no matter what job I worked. Maybe that's why I thought cooking meth was such a great idea at the time. Anyway, the radio was talking about Mike Rowe today. For anyone who doesn't know he's the guy from Discovery Channels "Dirty Jobs". And I loved that show. I remember watching it in college and thinking "how lucky I am to NOT be one of these sad, miserable idiots". And by "idiot" I meant ALL the people in the show working these shitty jobs. They're all broke slaves. They're not going anywhere in life. I'm the "lucky one." THAT'S how I thought in college (around 2003 when the show first aired). Anyway, I found out Mike Rowe released a commencement speech 3 days ago & it's directed at high school students. It's on YT titled: "Don't Follow Your Passion." It's a short but sweet speech. Then after that I clicked on another speech he gave. Which apparently wasn't marketed that well and still hasn't received much attention. But after the 11 minute intro, and after the full speech I realized, "I'm 33 and I'm still a fucking idiot." It caught me by surprise to watch Mike ATTACK this slogan. But what really caught me off guard is I WENT TO COLLEGE. Yet still somehow at 33, I had no idea this slogan was part of a college marketing campaign that started in 1979. The poster he shows in the video which you'll see, colleges must have removed before I got in. I just find it really strange how my dad spent his entire life building homes. My mom spent her life teaching. But most my life when I see a plumber, mechanic, garbage man, teacher, etc... I've always had this contempt. I've never felt it towards my mom or dad but I'd feel bad or pity people who worked completely normal jobs. Then I look at what I do for a living today. I started off selling websites. Then somehow got decent at lead gen. Then used those marketing skills to launch a business with my brother so I can learn a skilled trade. And as I slowly leap into more verticals and age... I'm getting certified in more and more skilled trades? Not to work in these trades but to market them (the grandeur never ends). And I know a lot of guys are on here for different reasons. This is a great forum. But there are many lost souls who have no idea wtf they're doing with their lives. I see guys act a certain way. Then a few months later they're showing me a site asking for advice and it's 10 fucking pages big. Or it's the poorest effort at marketing I've seen in my life. I'm NEVER gonna believe all men are created equal. I'll always gonna think I'm better than someone even when I'm writing the opposite on here. But young dudes really need to be careful to not fall into the same traps I did. Especially this trap of following your passion. Being told your a special flower. You can be w/e you want in life. Which always seems to trigger some form of apathy or anxiety. Living in a world where there's 100 new problems every day ... 100 new causes to fight for... and you probably wanna fight for something (more meaningful) but have no fucking clue where to start. So I'll give you a couple suggestions. Suggestion 1: Your 1st passion should always be your own sustainability. As in learning to self sustain, support yourself and be independent. Suggestion 2: Exactly what Mike Rowe says. "Don't follow your passion, follow opportunity and just bring your passion wherever you go." Cause you might find out like many do... that real "passion" doesn't come till later in life. When you least expect it. Finally, watch this video. The intro is 11 mins. And it starts off scattershot. But after 12 mins he digs into some really deep shit. Both figuratively and literally.