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What's Your Real GPA?

The days are looooong gone when all you needed was a diploma to get you in the door for a job interview. GPA is no longer the judge of intelligence or an indicator of future success. Those who rely on GPA realize later on there is much more to college and life than your number. Plus, your future significant other probably isn't going to judge you based on your number.

It was a GREAT day for many of us when Steve Jobs' high school diploma GPA was released. 2.65. That's it. He was a B/C student at best. But we all know how that story ended up: he dropped out of college, started Apple, left Apply, joined Apple, and then changed the world. All with a 2.65. It's not just the number; it's what the number means. Find out what your number means. Discover your Real GPA.

We suggest that you define goals, not just grades. What do you want your life experience to be all about? How will you make the most of it? What do you expect? What do you want to learn? What do you want to be a part of? What are you willing to GIVE?

Begin to think about who you are now, who you are becoming, and what you are going to give (or are already giving) back to the world. What is your purpose here and beyond? Begin to think about it now. Yes, right now.

Most student graduate without a sense of purpose and work without a sense of meaning. Don't you know a handful of people that went to and graduated from college...and still don't know what they want to do with their lives?! Don't you know a handful of people that are living seemingly meaningless lives? It's almost as if they aren't even here. It's a damn shame and about time we approach college differently than we have over the last 400 years.

College--and life--success comes down to a few things. Three big things: genius, passion, and achievement. Do this with me. Tap your head and say "genius." Tap your heart and say "passion." Tap the palm of your hand and say "achievement," as if you have something in there. Genius. Passion. Achievement. See what we did there? That's your Real GPA.

GPA is not just your number; it's about what the number means. Most employers will never ask you for your GPA. Heck, even you don't ask for anyone's GPA before hiring them. That's because out in the "real world," once you have a job, no one cares. (Mostly no one, that is. We always get in trouble when we use extremes.) 

If you're a student, use your time in college to discover your Real GPA. When you're doing really well in certain classes, remember that. When you're doing really crummy in other classes, take note of that too. Life's too short to do the things you suck at. The classes that you're excelling in might be related to your Genius. The classes that you suck at might be something to stray away from--even if it means changing your major. Do things that you love and avoid things that you hate. But remember what you hate because hate is a part of your Passion. And whatever you do, make sure that you're doing things that feel meaningful to you...things that move you towards your vision...things that you consider great Achievements.

If you're a professional, get this message to your students. You are their counselor. You are their advisor. You are their beacon of hope. Let them know there is a better approach to college. We like to call it getting an education, not just a degree.