Recently I shared a chat and a drink with a friend who I hadn’t seen for a while.
He was concerned that his son is being pressured at school to choose a career path. At 15 this young man is being told that he has to make a decision and choose his work future.
The presumption was made by the school that his son would choose the academic route, to go to university, study for years and earn a degree.
Now this dad is a very successful business owner.
He makes a lot of money and provides jobs for a substantial number of people. He provides a service for a large community and contributes to the local economy.
He never went to university.
“I told him he could do whatever he wants to do,” said the Dad. “To choose something he really wants to do- something he loves. I really don’t mind what. I want him to follow his heart and be happy.”
That same day I had talked with a young girl who told me that her dad wants her to become a lawyer.
He’s apparently told her since she was a little girl that she will grow up to study law.
“Are you interested in becoming a lawyer?” I asked.
(Huge eye roll and look of horror.)
“God no! I couldn’t think of anything worse but he keeps going on and on about it, and lining me up work experience and bringing me home all of this stuff to do with law- he just won’t listen!”
Today as I was putting out the recycling I happened to notice what was on top. (I’ve been having a bit of a clear out.)
It was one of my Diplomas- whoops!
Now, as I’ve mentioned before, I love to learn.
I have lots of bits of paper that I get handed at the end of some blocks of formal learning. Qualifications I’ve needed to hold down certain jobs.
Some of them have taken lots of effort, lots of sacrifice, lots of time and buckets of money!
But it’s not the bits of paper that I value.
They’re just bits of paper after all.
It’s the knowledge that I’ve gained, the experiences I’ve had, the people I’ve met, the challenges I’ve faced, the memories I’ve made and the fact that they’ve all been about doing what I love.
They have all had a purpose-to allow me to do the things I’ve been passionate about.
To have “jobs” that I’ve loved to do.
How many people do you know who hate what they do for a living?
People who stay in a job they detest, waiting only for the day when they can retire…
How many of us were directed that way by well-meaning folk around us…or by those who thought they knew what was best for us?
We live in a dynamic world where change is the norm.
Where most people will hold around 7-11 different jobs in their lifetimes….
How many of us hold onto something that we began years and years ago, based on decisions we made in a different time and place?
How long since we’ve reassessed to see if that decision still fits…
How long since we’ve opened our minds to new possibilities?
Since we’ve tried on something new for size?
Since we’ve dared to dream….
And how many of us will have the courage to act on that dream?