The following article is excerpted from a lecture by Prem Chopra at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga in September 2006. The text of the entire lecture can be found in Masters of the Game: Reaching Beyond the Nexus to Success and Happiness.
Set and Pursue Goals with Purpose
Set and pursue your goals. Setting and pursuing your goals is a key component of the guidance I have been providing to our students for years—don’t just pay tuition and sign up for classes, expecting to learn and earn a degree while you spend your time playing, working odd-jobs and ignoring your academic commitments. This is like driving towards New Orleans, while wanting to get to the west coast. It is the same as signing up for a course and then not attending classes and not working on your assignments.
You must first define your purpose, commit to it, and then stick with it. If your purpose is to earn a degree in engineering, then that should be the primary focus of your life at the time. Otherwise, you are short-changing yourself. Many individuals have trouble understanding and applying this simple principle for success. Such people are unsuccessful, so they do not rise to the top.