Why You Are More Than Your Degree: Putting The Pieces Of The Puzzle Together

college degree graduation
Photo by MD Duran on Unsplash

When I was younger, I used to think that my success in life would be defined purely based on my degree. I thought that if I could just get a good job, everything else would fall into place. But over time, I’ve come to realize that there’s so much more to me than just my degree ( The Pieces Of The Puzzle ).

Your degree is just one piece of the puzzle – it’s not the only thing that defines you

Don’t get me wrong – having a good education is important. But it’s not the only thing that matters. In fact, there are plenty of successful people out there who never even finished college. You would be right to point out Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates as examples of this. But they had something else that helped them succeed – they had drive and ambition. And that’s something you can’t learn in a classroom.

You have to develop it yourself, through experience and hard work. So don’t be discouraged if you’re not a straight-A student or if your degree isn’t in the field you want to go into. What really counts is your attitude and your work ethic; those are the things that will take you furthest in life.

You’ve probably been told your whole life that if you want to be successful, you need to get a good education

Why You Are More Than Your Degree college student
College student – Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

After all, the world today has one of the highest literacy rates than it was compared to 10 years ago. So it must be true, right?

When you’re in school, it certainly seems like this advice is correct. You pour your heart and soul into your papers, you spend long hours studying for exams, and spend even more time getting drunk with your friends on weekends (okay, maybe I’m projecting a bit). There’s no question that school is a blast – but did anyone ever really sit down with you and explain what happens AFTER you graduate?

Here’s my story after graduation:

I remember after graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, I didn’t know what the hell I was supposed to do with my life. I applied to dozens of jobs, and none of the jobs panned out like how I would imagine. I thought that after graduating college, you got a job and went on your merry way. Then you’d make $100k+ a year by default, right?


It wasn’t until 3 years later that I realized that my degree was just a piece of the puzzle – not the whole thing. It wasn’t enough to get me where I wanted to go in life, and it never would be.

And that leads to my next point…

The other pieces of the puzzle include Passion, Experience, Skills, and Relationships

The Pieces Of The Puzzle
Putting The Pieces Of The Puzzle Together – Image by Senjin Pojskić from Pixabay

It’s almost like there’s this big missing piece of the puzzle that nobody told me about. Sure, I have my degree – but that’s only one piece of the puzzle. The reality is that there are many other pieces that make up your career success and overall happiness in life.

Passion is a big one

There’s no question that passion is one of the most important things you can have in life. Without it, you’ll quickly lose steam and motivation. You need to be passionate about what you do if you want to achieve any level of success.

I know this firsthand. I was once a miserable manufacturing engineer, working long hours for little reward. It wasn’t until I discovered my passion for personal growth and development that I really started to thrive. Now, I have successfully grown my own YouTube channel and Blog, generating daily passive income.

Remember, if you’re not passionate about your work, you’ll never find the drive to succeed. So find something that excites you.

Experience is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle

It’s what you need to know to navigate through life, and it’s something you can’t learn in a classroom. You have to go out there and experience it yourself.

I remember talking to a presenter at a career conference talk, and he told me:

“Make sure you get out there and experience as many as possible in the field to find out what you really love to do.”

It was great advice, and it’s something I’ve taken to heart. I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to try out many different jobs before finding the one that fit me best.

The reality is, experience is what sets you apart from everyone else. It provides you with a preview of what you like and dislikes doing. You have to go out there and experience it yourself.

Skills are also important

If you look at the biographies of the world’s most successful people, you’ll see one common trait:

They all have amazing skills.

No matter what field you want to succeed in, whether it’s business or sports, or politics, there will always be skills that you need to master in order to get to where you want to go. Once you know what skills are required for success, it becomes much easier to develop them. You can learn from the best mentors and teachers, study books are written by experts, and practice until your skills become second nature.

How I overcame it: In addition to finding my passion and building up my experiences, I started out by reading books on personal growth and development, attending seminars and workshops, and practicing what I learned until it became second nature.

It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. And the best part is that I continue to learn and develop my skills every day.

I recommend you to read Managing Oneself: The Key to Success

Relationships are the final piece of the puzzle

Business people finding success
Business people finding success – Photo by krakenimages on Unsplash

It’s what helps you to develop your network. It is essential for finding jobs, getting advice, and meeting new people.

One thing I’ve learned in my own career is that you can’t do it alone. We all need help along the way, and while great relationships won’t make up for a lack of experience or skills, they can certainly make it easier to get there.

I have a mentor named John, who is one of the most successful entrepreneurs I’ve ever met. He taught me something very important about building relationships.

He told me that a lot of his friends and acquaintances seemed to have a single-minded focus on getting good grades and a great degree. This left little time for everything else.

They didn’t have time for relationships or for building connections. They weren’t able to do anything outside of school because they were so busy studying and working on assignments. They worked part-time jobs that related to their studies and didn’t go out much.

John who gave me this advice worked in a field that didn’t relate to his degree at all, but he still had more success than others who were focused entirely on their studies. This wasn’t because he was smarter than they were, but because he had more going on in his life than just schoolwork.

Know that a good college education helps you learn new skills, meet mentors and peers, and build your network.

Don’t worry, because everyone goes through this at some point in their lives

Stress over education degree
Woman feeling stress – Image by Jan Vašek from Pixabay

It’s perfectly normal to feel this way. In fact, most people go through this at some point in their lives. It’s part of the process of growing up and learning about yourself. It’s something you have to experience in order to move on to the next stage in your life.

During this time, it’s important to stay positive and keep moving forward. Don’t get discouraged, because you’ll eventually find your path. There are plenty of opportunities out there waiting for you, you just have to find them.

Find out what makes you happy and fulfilled

I’ll admit that it took me a while to discover that the perfect job for me did not exist. I realized that we are not defined by our degree, but rather by how we make our mark on the world.

Do you want to travel? Want more time with family? Love working in finance? Want to change the world? Everything you do contributes to your overall story. The key is to put the pieces of the puzzle together and find out what makes you happy and fulfilled.

So start defining what success means for you. Success isn’t just about making money or having a fancy title, it’s also about being satisfied with your work and feeling like your life has meaning. The best way to figure out what you want is through trial and error. So use your free time to try something new or pursue a passion project on a part-time basis. It may take some time, but if you stick with it, one day you’ll find yourself right where you want to be!

We have all been told since we were young that getting a degree is important for success. While this is true, it does not mean you cannot achieve success without one. Yes, there are jobs out there that require a degree, such as doctors and teachers. But there are also plenty of other jobs out there that do not require one! You can be successful in any job if you put your heart into it and work hard enough.

There is no “right” answer for which path is best for you in life. If going to college makes sense for you financially or personally then go right ahead!


If you need a piece of paper in order for someone else to believe in your capabilities, then they aren’t worth believing in yourself. There’s no better feeling than believing in yourself and knowing that you are fully capable of accomplishing anything you set your mind to.

Putting the pieces of the puzzle together will help you find success and happiness in life. Don’t worry, because everyone goes through this at some point in their lives. The key is to put the pieces of the puzzle together and find out what makes you happy and fulfilled.

In the words of author and poet Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

What does this mean? It means that your abilities are not solely dependent on your degree or experience!

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comment box below!

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