What to Do When You Hit a Crater In the Road

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If you’ve thought that getting good grades makes you a successful student, think again. In his book, Major in Success, Patrick Combs clearly outlines what being successful really means for students, no matter how old they are. The difference between mediocrity and greatness is not family or intelligence, Combs says, it’s extraordinary drive.

How do you get extraordinary drive? It’s all about passion, baby, about discovering what it is you love to do.

Combs suggests you:
  1. Admit what really interests you
  2. Pinpoint your true aspirations (including the ones your family might not agree with)
  3. Discover the many jobs related to your interest (Combs shows you how)
  4. Feel your fears and do it anyway.

What I really like about this book is that Combs anticipates the arguments against his ideas and answers them with helpful exercises that walk you through what he’s trying to get you to realize, experience, and act on. His own passion for helping others find their passion is evident. So many other books on success focus on more tangible advice, and that’s important too, but if underneath all that surface stuff your fire isn’t blazing, satisfaction is going to be hard won, if won at all.

"Trust your emotions," Combs writes. "Choose enjoyment, satisfaction, and learning over dollars."

He also suggests your best job may not be what you’re good at, and that life is very generous to those who follow their passions and pursue their dreams. I find that inspiring, not only for twenty-somethings just starting out, but also for those of us who have tried a career or three and are still searching for the one that brings us joy.

The older we get, the more important that becomes.

Combs provides plenty of exercises for discovering which job that might be. He also discusses:
  • Power journaling
  • Dealing with fear
  • Setting goals
  • Choosing the classes that really matter
  • Managing time and stress
  • Finding a coach
  • Networking in professional organizations
  • Interviewing effectively

Major in Success is filled with practical advice about the things that really matter in life, the things that lead to true success. Now in its 5th edition, it’s sure to be around for decades to come.

About the Author

Patrick Combs is a best-selling author, inspirational speaker, and humorous entertainer. He is in the Motivational Speakers Hall of Fame and has an off-Broadway solo comedy act. You can find him at

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