Statistics are now proving that college graduates change jobs five to six times before they finally land in a career that can keep them engaged for a certain length of time. Interestingly enough, this was recently spoken by a high school college guidance counselor working with students on choosing their higher education based on their passions. What was baffling was she was trying to use this as a motivational tool rather than the red flag that it truly is.

After all, isn’t the purpose of college to train you to be the best you can be in the field you choose to learn the most about…at a price that leaves you in debt for decades after the fact? If college guidance counselors are encouraging high school juniors and more importantly seniors to choose courses that have nothing to do with their field of interest just so they can “have something to fall back on,” what really is the point in going to college at all? Wouldn’t it be better to put the money which would be spent on a traditional “education” toward tangible and practical experiences that would allow our future leaders the hands-on lessons they would need to make more well-informed and well-rounded decisions about their lives and their careers?

This same principle of “real-world experience” applies not only to college students, but to everyone working jobs paying barely enough cover their monthly bills.  Wouldn’t you be much happier doing something you love for someone who appreciates you and respects you — or even for yourself? Regardless of whether you’ve just been fired from your “stable career” of 12 years, are miserable because you’re not living your dreams or still don’t even know what it is you want to do when you “grow up,” let these three power moves be the next steps you take. You won’t regret it.

1. Rediscover YOU! The way things are in today’s overly chaotic society, you’re no doubt either exhausted, frustrated, edgy or all of the above. Hopelessness has become an epidemic and dreams are only for when you’re asleep — if you ever get any. There is no greater power move than to slow down, distance yourself from whatever it is that has you distracted from the things that matter most in this world, and work on your relationship with yourself. Travel, read, journal, watch funny movies, lay in bed for three days…whatever you need to do to reengage with your unique self and rediscover what would make you happier in this life than a dog with two tales. This is all about YOU time…period.

2. Do Something! Once you’ve slowed down or even allowed yourself to stop running on the societal hamster wheel of distraction and you’ve gained a little insight as to what would really motivate you to get out of bed each day — that “if money and time were not object what would you be doing” answer — put yourself in a position to do something about it. If you’ve always wanted to be a carpenter, volunteer at Habitat for Humanity or work in the carpentry section of your local home improvement center or lumber yard in your spare time. Whatever your get-you-out-of-bed passion is, find a way to do something — anything — in that field and do it. “If it’s important to you, you’ll find a way. If it’s not, you’ll find an excuse.”

3. Stick With It! In the book “Three Feet From Gold,” a miner had discovered a vein of ore. He excitedly borrowed money to buy the equipment needed to bring the gold to the surface and subsequently mined enough gold to pay off his debts and begin turning a profit…until the vein of ore stopped. He continued digging and continued coming up empty.

Frustrated and disappointed he sold all his equipment to a junk man for a few hundred dollars. The junk man, astute as he was, hired a mining engineer who calculated there was a vein of ore just three feet from where the original miner had stopped digging. The junk man went on to make millions of dollars off of all the intense and passionate work the miner had put into his original dream.

If you’ve power moved your way closer and closer to your dream finally becoming a reality but it seems you’ve been digging and digging only to reach the end of your vein of ore…don’t give up. You could very well be just three feet from gold. Let it be your story of perseverance and determination be the one changing lives for centuries to come…not the junk man’s.