Sunday, September 18, 2016

A Good Question

This is very short, but one of those quick jolts to the brain.

I was giving a workshop for teachers on resilience. We were looking at how we could reframe events, incidents, obstacles so we could better deal with them. One woman said she’d been frustrated over where she was in her career, but the change she wanted to make would mean going back to school for a degree.

“If I go back to school now, I won’t have my degree till I’m 55!”

Her husband: “How old will you be if you don’t go back to school?”
I’ll let that sink in.


  1. I heard this at a fairly good "self-help" seminar nearly 40 years ago.

    The wife wanted to go to medical school, but said "I'd be over 40 by the time I get done with all the schooling and training." The seminar presenter - the husband - made the same response: "And how old will you be if you don't go?" The end of the story was that his wife had become an MD.

    The good questions are eternal!

  2. Given the cost of obtaining a (second) degree in the USA, one would need to do a cost-benefit analysis on the debt versus the opportunity (or not) of breaking into a new field at the age one would graduate.

    I thought of doing law in the UK and finally ran into a barrister who laid it out for me: I would have little to no opportunities at 60. I thanked him and moved on to study philosophy instead!

    Glad I did and no one even thinks to ask if I'm doing it for anything other than learning. I like that.

    So no, sometimes 55 is just too old. Figure it out.

  3. I didn't get a university degree until I was 52. Better late than REALLY late.

    And I have used that same line -- "How old will you be if you DON'T [do whatever]?" It does tend to bring people up short.


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