Lessons from a passionate student
I didn’t want to say anything in my blog until it’s was finalized and the day-job-folk knew. As of yesterday, it’s officially done. On August 17th, I’m leaving the world of full time job to full time student. Starting September, I’m going to BCIT for Radio Broadcasting.
On the cusp of my 30th birthday, sometimes I wonder if I’m completely off my rocker. I have a job I’ve been doing for some time now. Why rock the boat? I’ve got a scheduled pay-cheque. I’ve got a false sense of stability that a 9-5 gives people. I’ve got loans, bills and credit cards. I never eat anything home cooked and I like that. I like going to movies. And now…??? Why would anyone want to give that up?
Beyond money and comfort there is an underlying desire, passion. I’ve been looking deeply at who I am, and what I love. I’ve been actively questioning everything for years. The more I question the more I don’t know. But what I do know, I know what’s not me.
So, I’ve decided to take the plunge and follow where the answers have lead me. During the course, I’ve had friends ask why I’m doing it and more importantly how. So, I’m going to look at it a little more deeply.
In my journey, there are several lessons I’ve learned. Most of which I’ve had to, and still do, repeat to myself over and over. They feel awkward and I tend to fight myself with them. But when I’m reminded, they seem to unlock a way of putting things into perspective and give me strength to keep going
- Asking is the first step
- It’s never over until it’s over
- Leap and the net will catch
Asking is the first step
They say, “Ignorance is bliss”. The reason, is because you don’t question. You don’t question because you don’t know to ask, or your don’t want to know the answer. But the minute, the instant you ask why, or how, ignorance is shattered. Somehow, the question opens your eyes to the possibilities.
Let’s look at one great question and I’ll show you what I mean. Ask yourself, “am I happy?” I can see 4 outcomes:
This is the most honest response you can answer. It leads to the question “Why?” Which leads to questions like “What can I do about it?”, “What’s stopping me?”, “Why am I afraid?”, “Why can’t I change?” No one can be expected to be happy all the time. But when we know we are working on it, when we know we are on the path towards it. Somehow, it makes us stronger along the way.
If you responded instantaneously with no thought either a) you’ve already gone through this process and I’m not stating anything new , or b) I call bull shit. We all like to lie to ourselves and to others. It could be an automated response. To you I say, stop and really think, and ask again and again.
If you paused before saying yes, I ask you, what was the condition you gave yourself for saying yes. Is it because at this moment you are content? What about the moment before this? What about you at work? What about you at home?
This is the ultimate cop out. I know, because I use this one all the time. It’s a statement of secrecy. When someone says to me maybe - they are saying “I don’t want you to know”. But how can I not want me to know? What am I keeping secret?
What does that matter?
Oooo, this one is a tough one. If you’ve said this, then you should seek professional help. Because I don’t know of a single person who doesn’t deserve to be happy
It’s never over until it’s over
This one is a bit tricky, because to some this opens the door to procrastination. Why put off to tomorrow what you can do today? Why wait to say “I’m sorry” or “I’ll do that when…” And in some regards that’s true. In other regards, I look at the sculpture of David, or the Sixteenth chapel. I’m reminded that “Rome wasn’t built in a day”.
But why does this matter? It’s a perception of the future. And some of us don’t have it.
I’ve met people who understand the ebb and flow of life. They understand that they can always turn back. They can try new things, and that they have the rest of their lives to figure it out. These people make 5 year and 10 year plans. They revisit this plan and change course accordingly. These people know that tomorrow will come, and they are ready for it. They have a master plan and are trying to build a masterpiece of their lives.
And then, I’ve met people like me, who somehow think that when we do something, there is never going back. It’s the end all, be all step. There is no tomorrow to correct it. To that matter, there is no tomorrow. This perception then skews us to contain our activities to single day things. Write a poem or blog post. Take the truck to the mechanic. Do the dishes. If it’s not a task a single day can accomplish, it’s easy loose faith that it will ever be accomplished. Yet, tomorrow comes and goes. And, unless I’m dead, it will come again.
I use this to remind me that I have tomorrow to write a novel. I have time to go back to school and build a career of my choosing. I can do many small tasks that together will build my Rome.
Leap and the net will catch
I can’t remember who coined the phrase, but it’s stuck with me. I’ve had it in my back pocket when I moved across the country with only a limited credit card. When a friend said, “hey nick, you want to go with me to halifax for 3 weeks?”
This one is probably the hardest for me to articulate. But some other people are trying. It’s a part of The Secret, Law of Attraction and New Thought. It’s a belief. And, whenever anyone says a word like “faith”, a whole gray area opens up to be taken in or spit out. And faith is exactly what this is. Not of religious convictions, but simply that it will be alright. That if, in your life, you take a leap towards something, it will always end up alright. My own twist is that I think it might mot be what you planned, if you planned at all, but it will be alright none the less.
The toughest part of this is the same challenges in any act of faith. Only with experience of the leap, can you truly believe. And only after the entire experience is concluded, do you know you were caught.
So how do you know you were caught? When we are falling we sometimes don’t see the net. Look for the word “coincidence” in your story.
- When I was younger, my father was laid off from his job. Coincidentally, he had a friend that was looking to start a business venture and needed to hire someone with experience that my dad had.
- I have had my heart broken a trodden on, but every time I meet new people out of sheer coincidence. And through 6 degrees of separation I find others to love.
- My car broke down on the way to my bank appointment, I was getting a line of credit for school. I was late and completely missed my appointment. I scheduled another but it wasn’t for weeks. In the meantime, I saw a Van-City ad and wondered what they could do for me. I called them up. Coincidentally, the had an opening on the day my vehicle was fixed. And not only did I get a line of credit, it’s a better deal then the previous bank.
Think of the coincidences in you life and how did they work out for you. When you see these as the net, it makes it easier to believe.